Abstract

11.1 This chapter provides practical guidance on strategic and management considerations about the compilation of FSIs and dissemination practices, which can be adapted to meet specific country circumstances.

I. Introduction

11.1 This chapter provides practical guidance on strategic and management considerations about the compilation of FSIs and dissemination practices, which can be adapted to meet specific country circumstances.

II. Strategic Issues

Legal and Institutional Requirements

Responsibility for data compilation and dissemination

11.2 Based on the experience of over a decade of FSI compilation and dissemination, as well as the experience of working with 140 FSI reporters, the Guide recommends that the primary responsibility for calculating and disseminating all FSIs should reside with the central bank, in collaboration with other relevant authorities. For DT data, the legal powers for imposing source data reporting normally reside in the central bank and the DT supervisor. For source data reporting of OFCs, separate agencies might be involved as in many countries, the central bank does not supervise all OFCs. Finally, for source data covering NFCs, the households and real estate prices, the responsibility is usually shared with the national statistical office. These agencies require appropriate legal powers to collect and disseminate the required data.

11.3 Whenever the compilation of FSIs involves multiple agencies, the Guide recommends that the relevant agencies sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) providing a foundation for coordination and cooperation among them regarding source data collection and compilation.

Legal authority for data collection

11.4 The terms of the legal authority for data collection should cover the following:

  • Scope. The type of entities compelled to report data should be clearly specified (e.g., DTs, OFCs, NFCs), and the rationale for targeting these entities should be explained (e.g., to monitor economic activity and financial transactions). Ideally, regulators could maintain a list of reporting institutions part of the reporting population.

  • Flexibility. The legal authority should be clear as to the boundaries of the responsibilities of the compiling agencies, without being so restrictive that the agency lacks the freedom to adapt as new developments emerge.

  • Compliance. To ensure the effectiveness of the reporting requirement, legislation could include the power to impose penalties on entities that fail to report.

  • Confidentiality. Legislation should ensure the protection of confidential firm-level data.

  • Independence of statistical compilation. Other government agencies should be prohibited from unduly influencing the content of statistical releases.

Adequacy of resources

11.5 National authorities are responsible for the allocation of resources for the compilation of FSIs. They are encouraged to provide adequate resources to compile the core and additional sets of FSIs. Resources will be needed for the collection and assessment of source data, as well as for the dissemination of FSIs. Moreover, authorities should strive to develop and retain over time a core contingent of qualified staff that is knowledgeable in statistical and financial soundness concepts and compilation methods.

11.6 In determining resource allocation, account should be taken of any needed improvements in data. Decisions may need to be made on updating existing report forms and questionnaires or developing new surveys (e.g., to strengthen real estate price information). After the initial development work is completed and data are being disseminated, a more detailed development work program can be produced in consultation with other agencies involved in the compilation work.

III. Managerial Issues

Data Quality

11.7 Data quality is a multidimensional construct encompassing the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistical information, in addition to the accuracy of the statistics themselves. High FSI data quality is supported by clear strategies processes including the following:

  • The principle of objectivity in the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics be firmly adhered to. Statistics should be collected and compiled on an impartial basis, with choices of sources and statistical techniques based solely on statistical considerations. The choice of methodologies should be justified, and information about the choices made should be readily available.

  • Validation checks within the data set and with other major data sets should be systematically undertaken. Basic validation checks provide a first filter on the integrity of the source data and should be automated within the compiling agency. For the FSIs, emphasis should be put in ensuring consistency between the underlying series reported in the financial statements templates, the calculations of the indicators in the indicators’ template, and the methodological choices documented in the FSI metadata.

  • Outlier detection can help identify breaks in the series due to reporting mistakes. Plausibility tests should aim at identifying those data items that have reporting errors, even though they have passed the first validation checks.

  • Revision to FSI data, if needed, should follow a regular, well-established, and transparent schedule. Since FSIs are intended to provide current actionable information to the public, supervisors, and policy officials, revisions covering all relevant periods should be introduced during the next dissemination round rather than wait for specific times (such as e.g., completion of annual audits).1 Revisions should be analyzed by the compiling agency and fully explained to users.

  • Breaks in data series should be clearly identified. Data supplying/producing agencies should also supply information on the shortcomings of the data.

Addressing Source Data Issues

11.8 A number of management challenges arise when compiling FSIs. First, procedures are needed to ensure that the concepts used and the data compiled are consistent with the methodology of the Guide in terms of instrument classification, sectorization, and valuation. The lead agency should establish key commonalities and differences in the source data and should be aware of any inconsistencies with the core concepts outlined in the Guide. The definitions of sectors and instruments should be assessed, as should the accounting and valuation rules.

11.9 Second, the coverage of the reporting population should be as comprehensive as possible, and ideally, it should be complete for all deposit takers. Some trade-offs might be necessary if some small institutions do not report their data in a timely manner, or do not report them at all. In such cases, a cost-benefit analysis should be undertaken to decide whether the missing data would materially affect the aggregated results. If not, it would not be necessary to devote additional resources to achieve complete coverage of the sector.

11.10 Third, the lead agency should be in close contact with the data providers, so that both sides understand the other’s needs and problems. The timing, content, and formats of the data provided by the reporting units should be clearly established. Any changes in coverage, definition, or classifcia-tion should be identified in advance of the provision of data so that there are no surprises during the data compilation process.

11.11 When addressing the issue of institutional coverage, particular attention should be given to the provision of the applicable group-consolidated financial statements. Group-consolidation is recommended for DTs (CBCSDI) and for insurance corporations (CBDI). The lead agency should obtain from the relevant bank and insurance supervisory agencies information about the corporate groups that report on a consolidated basis and the consolidation approach used for each group. Information should also be obtained about groups that do not report on a consolidated basis. Knowledge about the consolidation approaches underlying the source data for the FSIs is critical when analyzing the FSIs and their implications for the soundness of the financial system.

11.12 FSIs are published on an aggregated basis. Some data are collected from individual institutions on a confidential basis. Most countries restrict the dissemination of individual entity source data. These confidentiality considerations should be incorporated when planning the strategy for compiling and disseminating FSIs, particularly when setting up data flows between relevant agencies. The lead agency should closely monitor the individual data supplied and should have the right to require that the data suppliers provide explanations regarding the data.

11.13 It is important that arrangements be put in place to facilitate formal and informal contacts among the staff of the different units responsible for FSI data collection and dissemination, to deal with any problems expeditiously and to avoid duplication of efforts. If there is only one agency involved (e.g., the central bank), compilers should have easy access to the underlying series managed by other departments that are needed for the calculation of FSIs. If more than one agency is involved (e.g., the central bank and a banking supervisory agency), cooperation and coordination between the data collecting agency and the agency in charge of compilation and dissemination of FSIs is of the utmost importance. Cooperation is also required with the national statistical office, or a similar agency, for FSIs for the nonfinancial sector.

Consultation with Reporters and Users

Consultation with reporters

11.14 Even though legal backing will support compilers’ efforts to obtain the necessary information from the primary reporters of data (e.g., the individual deposit takers), it is essential that a “culture of reporting” be developed. This is not easily or quickly achieved but should be considered as an ongoing aspect of the work. Steps to encourage a culture of reporting include convening meetings with potential respondents and addressing their concerns, developing report forms that ft easily into existing management reporting systems and are not overly complex, and disseminating and promoting the FSIs in a transparent manner. Indeed, data reporters should see some benefit arising from the provision of data, such as obtaining information on financial sector conditions relevant for their own analysis. If data are collected and compiled in an ef-cient manner and the FSIs are viewed as important, experience suggests that data reporters are more likely to respond.

11.15 Thus, for example, when new data are to be collected, the compiler is advised to undertake report form testing—that is, obtain feedback from a sample of potential reporters on whether the instructions are clear and workable before they become operational. Moreover, seminars and workshops explaining the reporting requirements are valuable to both reporters and the compiling agency and are encouraged. The ongoing maintenance of an electronic register of contacts at the data reporting institutions provides information that can help ensure a well-run statistical operation. Through such a register, institutional memory at the statistical agency can be developed and maintained.

Consultation with users

11.16 There should be mechanisms to ensure that the FSIs continue to meet the needs of policymakers and other users. Feedback collected through this mechanism sometimes may warrant a revision of the FSIs and could be shared with the IMF to strengthen future editions of the Guide.

11.17 Meetings with policymakers and other data users should be periodically convened to review the comprehensiveness of the FSIs and to identify emerging data requirements. Similarly, consultation with regional and international organizations, including standard setters, would be helpful. New initiatives could be discussed with policy departments and statistical advisory groups; such discussions would provide justification for seeking additional resources. As with any new body of statistics, programs that reach out to users can be useful for promoting awareness and understanding of the data, as well as for identifying data quality issues and other user concerns.

IV. Compilation of FSIs: Practical Issues Availability of Source Data

11.18 One of the first tasks in developing efficient systems for compiling the new FSIs is the identification of available source data. In the many jurisdictions that already have good coverage of the DT FSIs, data for the new and revised DT FSIs is likely to be available from the same supervisory sources. Obtaining data for FSIs outside the DT sector usually requires coordination among multiple agencies. When compared with the information needed to compile FSIs, this inventory of available information will inform decisions on resource needs and the development of work programs. Producing a comprehensive list of existing data will entail close coordination among potential compiling agencies, particularly those providing data on OFCs, NFCs, the household sector, and real estate prices. It is also essential that sources and methods be well documented for use when problems arise, for ensuring continuity of process when there is staff turnover or absence, and to support the development of metadata.

11.19 Experience with the FSIs indicates that coverage of DTs (as defined in Chapter 2) is generally quite good across more than 130 jurisdictions compiling FSIs. Coverage drops of significantly, however, for OFCs, NFCs, HHs, and real estate markets—data that is not normally obtained directly from DT supervisory sources by the lead agency. Addressing the gaps requires that the lead agency can either collect source data directly from different financial institutions/relevant entities or indirectly from relevant authorities/other agencies. Based on experience, the Guide recommends indirect collection as other agencies will generally have the required legal power and may already have much of the required data. The common indirect sources are relevant financial sector regulators for DTs and selected OFCs, national statistics offices (NSO), or other government agencies for other OFCs, NFCs, HHs, and real estate markets; relevant supervisors/regulators or private data sources for securities markets. In the event of the absence of source data, new surveys might be necessary.

11.20 Practical consideration may include the need to establish data sharing agreements with relevant agencies, including the NSO (which is most likely to collect data for NFCs/HHs and real estate markets). Data sharing and coordination between the compiler and other data-providing/producing agencies are necessary. Practical issues include smooth and timely flows of data and measures to protect data confidentiality agreements. The lead agency should also establish methods to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data provided for compiling the FSIs, including to ensure consistency with the core concepts underlying the FSIs, such as definitions of sectors and instruments, accounting, and valuation rules.

V. Dissemination of FSIs and Related Data

Dissemination Practices

Dissemination channels

11.21 Decisions relating to the dissemination of data have important implications for a number of the compilation issues mentioned earlier. Publication deadlines help focus the work processes, which in turn affect resource allocation decisions. An important decision with regard to dissemination concerns periodicity. Also significant are decisions on the range of data to be disseminated, the timeliness of release, and the format of release. The preferred format for the electronic exchange of data is the Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange Standard (SDMX), which is fully supported by the IMF for the collection of FSI-related data.

11.22 Owing to the nature of FSIs and their importance for tracking vulnerabilities, countries might consider working toward disseminating core and additional FSIs as frequently as possible.

11.23 The Guide encourages dissemination on a single centralized website—the website of the lead agency—allowing simultaneous release to all users, general accessibility of the data, and transparency. To enhance the usefulness of FSIs, countries could consider supplement the dissemination of the FSIs with commentary on the main trends in the FSI data series and detailed metadata to support their understanding. In fact, some countries already imbed FSI commentary in their regular publications on financial stability issues. Additions could include discussions of relevant methodological issues. In parallel, countries are encouraged to regularly report core and additional FSIs for dissemination on the IMF’s website. The IMF’s web portal functions as a hub where users can easily access FSIs from a large number of countries compiled in accordance with international standards and containing detailed metadata, facilitating crosscountry comparability.

Frequency and timeliness

11.24 It is recommended that FSIs be disseminated at least on a quarterly basis with a lag of one quarter, while monthly dissemination with one-month lag is strongly encouraged. The availability of information can vary among FSIs—for instance, information on interbank interest rates will be available more frequently than information on the geographic distribution of lending. Nonetheless, countries should work toward releasing most of the core FSIs and as many additional FSIs as possible on a quarterly basis, within one quarter of the reference date. The compilation and dissemination of additional FSIs depends on national circumstances. As with the core FSIs, the Guide recommends quarterly dissemination of the additional FSIs, with the national option for monthly dissemination.

Breaks in data series

11.25 It is particularly important to monitor and document breaks in data series because they can affect the analysis. One of the most frequent types of breaks arises from changes in the reporting population. For instance, new deposit takers can be licensed while others are closed. Moreover, mergers between deposit takers can have significant consequences.

11.26 In general, it is important for compilers to document mergers and any changes in underlying accounting rules that affect the continuity of the data series. Such information should be maintained over time.2

Financial sector overview

11.27 The financial system structure will affect the range of data available for calculating FSIs and any assessment of FSIs that are disseminated. The dissemination of structural indicators for the deposit takers and OFCs discussed next might be relevant for any such assessment.

Deposit takers

11.28 To provide an overview of the size and ownership structure of the deposit-taking sector, thus supporting the interpretation of FSIs, the key structural indicators, such as number of deposit takers split by type and by ownership, their branches and subsidiaries could be disseminated.

11.29 The value of assets owned by the deposit-taking sector provides information on the size of the sector. Additionally, information on the net number of deposit takers entering or leaving the business and information from FSIs, such as the spread between deposit and lending rates, provides some indication of competitive pressures or whether the sector could be under stress. In addition, the number of branch outlets in the economy can be a source of information both on cost pressures and on the size of the deposit-taking industry within the economy.

11.30 In many economies, the deposit-taking sector may consist of specialized institutions, as described in Chapter 2. If so, the nature of the banking business undertaken by various types of specialized institutions may differ significantly. To further understand the structure of the financial system, compilers could distinguish structural information on commercial banks and on distinctive types of specialized banks such as savings banks, cooperative banks, and micro-finance institutions.

11.31 FSIs for a sector as a whole may mask variations within the population of financial institutions. For example, the sector-wide capital asset ratio for deposit takers is an average ratio for the sector, but it does not reveal whether individual entities’ capital ratios are clustered in a narrow range around the average value or are spread over a wide range. Hence, the publication of concentration and distribution measures (CDMs) is recommended (see Chapter 12 for guidance on the compilation of CDMs).

11.32 Finally, countries could disseminate information on their deposit insurance schemes, because the level of coverage of depositors’ funds can affect economic behavior and thus have implications for financial stability.

Other financial corporations

11.33 Given the heterogeneity of institutions within the OFC sector, the Guide introduces disaggregated reporting for the OFC sector covering some of the key subsectors. This requires that compilers identify source data to compile the new FSIs for life and non life insurance corporations, pension funds, and money market funds, in addition to aggregate data on all OFCs.

Metadata

11.34 Metadata describes the content and coverage of the FSIs and the accounting conventions and other national guidelines reflected in the data. Given the diversity of standards and compilation practices between countries, compilers are urged to proactively assess whether disseminated metadata provide all relevant information needed by the public, researchers, and policy officials to properly understand the meaning and limitations of the disseminated FSIs.

11.35 Metadata should be publicly available along with FSI data. In particular, a brief description should be provided of the definitions for the numerator and denominator of each FSI, particularly if they are different from the definitions set out in the Guide. Other specific information that is useful to data users include the consolidation basis used to compile FSIs, regulatory framework (Basel I, Basel II, or Basel III), intra-group consolidation adjustments, and accounting rules such as asset/liability valuation and time of recognition, and exchange rates used for conversion of foreign-currency accounts into national currency value. In addition, compilers are encouraged to make public other information, such as source data and institutional coverage, and whether the numerator and denominator are available with the same periodicity, and if not, how this affects the use of the data. Metadata should also include explanation of any deviations of the national compilation practices from the Guide’s recommendations.

11.36 When data are disseminated, provisional data should be clearly indicated and any major revisions explained by way of notes to the published tables or in the metadata. Breaks in series, for example, due to changes in the reporting population should be clearly identified and quantified where possible. Such explanations are particularly important given that the entrance or departure of a few institutions from the reporting sample could potentially have a significant impact on the FSIs. At the development stage, some FSIs may be calculated from data covering various subgroups that apply different accounting principles. Such situations should be highlighted in the metadata.

1

Changes to data resulting from annual audits sometimes fall outside the on-going data reporting procedures. If this is the case, it is important that compilers devise additional methods to capture changes resulting from audits.

2

Within a country, some DTs may be required to adopt Basel III, while some other DTs continue to follow Basel I or Basel II. Chapter 3 discusses a recommended aggregation of capital components under Basel III and Basel II (and/or Basel I) for deriving sectoral data.

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