The shadow banking system can broadly be described as credit intermediation involving entities and activities outside the regular banking system. Intermediating credit through non-bank channels can have important advantages and contributes to the financing of the real economy, but such channels can also become a source of systemic risk, especially when they are structured to perform bank-like functions (e.g. maturity transformation and leverage) and when their interconnectedness with the regular banking system is strong. Therefore, appropriate monitoring of shadow banking helps to mitigate the build-up of such systemic risks. The FSB set out its approach for monitoring the global shadow banking system in its report to the G20 in October 2011. This report presents the results of the third annual monitoring exercise following this approach, using end-2012 data. The report includes data from 25 jurisdictions and the euro area as a whole, bringing the coverage of the monitoring exercise to about 80% of global GDP and 90% of global financial system assets.