2.3 Rapidly changing operating environment challenges the Bank of Finland’s statistics function
The Bank of Finland is responsible for producing key financial market statistics. Reliable statistics and up-to-date analyses are indispensible for identifying challenges in a changing operating environment and forming a detailed picture of the operation of the financial markets and the economy.
Compiling statistics is one of the statutory tasks of the Bank of Finland. Statistical data can meet the information needs of its users by describing all important social phenomena and adapting to changes in circumstances. The Bank of Finland services users’ information needs by actively developing the collection and compilation of statistics.
More comprehensive data from financial institutions
Lending by financial institutions outside the credit institutions sector is growing rapidly. Such ‘other’ financial institution offer an alternative to traditional channels of funding. Consequently, the Board of the Bank of Finland decided in March 2019 to extend the collection of data in the financial sector.
In future, the Bank of Finland will collect more extensive data on financial intermediation by entities other than credit institutions (i.e. other financial intermediaries, OFIs). The scope of the extended statistical data collection will cover finance companies and entities providing consumer credit, among others.
The new data collection reflects international and national statistical requirements and deepens the analysis of financial stability and monetary policy.
The new statistics provide a better picture of household and corporate sector indebtedness and a deeper insight on changes in channels of funding.
Rapid rise of ‘other financial intermediaries’ demands new data
The Bank of Finland has the statutory right to obtain any and all data necessary for carrying out its statutory tasks from credit and financial institutions and other financial market participants.
Work to extend the Bank’s data collection was started by determining the reporting frequency and coverage of data collection on the basis of the size of the companies reporting. Cooperation with the reporting entities was started in 2019.
Bank of Finland experts surveyed the existing data and other information sources on the subject and published two blog posts, on instant lenders (in Finnish) and hidden debt (in Finnish), and an analysis article (in Finnish), all of which are available in Finnish. The studies demonstrate that sources of finance have become increasingly diverse, although credit institutions are still by far the most important financial intermediaries for households and non-financial corporations.
The assets of OFIs totalled EUR 9.9 billion at the end of 2018 (excluding OFIs under public ownership). The assets of the credit institutions sector were 63-fold, totalling EUR 625 billion.
The proportion of funding delivered by OFIs has, however, increased in recent years. The assets of instant lenders, in particular, are growing strongly. Due to ownerships structures, increasingly large OFIs are becoming interconnected with the credit institutions sector (Chart 12).
The Bank of Finland published open data and new data visualisations
Increasingly granular data are needed to support decision-making in society. The Bank of Finland published new statistical data on, for example, household borrowing through its open data service in April 2019.
The data published contain information on credit institutions’ loans to households, non-profit institutions serving households, non-financial corporations and housing corporations. The new data include average loan maturities and annual growth rates of deposits. The data can also be browsed using the Bank’s visualisation tool, dashboard, developed in 2018.
The Bank of Finland published a new visualisation (in Finnish) on investment and private equity funds in summer 2019. At the same time, the Bank of Finland merged data on savings and investments into one statistical publication. The Bank now offers users of statistical data a more extensive statistical release on a quarterly basis.
The Bank of Finland is an active developer of central bank statistics in Europe
The Eurosystem's largest ongoing statistics project, AnaCredit, entered the data collection phase. AnaCredit is a common granular analytical credit database for the entire euro area. The ECB compiled data from the national central banks of the Member States of the monetary union and launched a discussion on the requirements of a common quality assurance framework.
The central banks of the Member States of the monetary union will agree, within the joint quality assurance framework, on procedures for ensuring the quality of reported data. The Bank of Finland's work in 2019 focused on ensuring the quality of data and providing instructions to reporting entities.
The rapid transition in payment systems and instruments is reflected in statistical requirements. Mobile payment is gaining in popularity, and the Bank of Finland addressed user needs by updating its reporting requirements.
The Bank of Finland participated in the preparation of European legislation, i.e. in the definition of new requirements for payment statistics. A survey of user needs and a cost-benefit analysis were completed in 2019.