3.4 Bank actively develops financial market statistical practices in 2021
Topical themes were evident in 2021 in the development of Bank of Finland statistics. The whole area of statistics was broadened with new data on indebtedness and on developments on the housing loan market. The Bank of Finland improved the way corporate finance is monitored and analysed with the launch, in collaboration with Statistics Finland, of the Data Academy project and the commencement of development work on sustainable development indicators. The Bank of Finland also took an active role in statistics projects within the European System of Central Banks.
Compiling statistics is one of the statutory tasks of the Bank of Finland.
The Bank meets the information needs of users by actively developing the collection and compilation of statistics and by ensuring that they are up-to-date, relevant and comprehensive, even in a changing operational environment.
In 2021, the Bank of Finland began to compile statistics on OFIs and published new data on household indebtedness
The Bank of Finland has a statutory right to obtain from credit and financial institutions and other financial market participants the data necessary for carrying out its statutory duties.
In 2021, the Bank began to collect data on ‘other financial institutions’ (OFIs). The aim is to gain a more comprehensive picture of the state and sources of indebtedness in Finland and broaden the analysis of changes to financial channels.
The Bank of Finland has published two fact sheets on the new statistics on other financial institutions. A clearer picture was obtained of the role of OFIs in financial intermediation and as sources of borrowing.
Vehicle finance specialists account for most (79%) of the loans to households granted by OFIs.
Other entities in the OFI sector that lend to households include consumer credit and small loan companies, banks’ finance companies and pawnshops.
A more substantial picture of household indebtedness was also obtained by collecting data on vehicle loans from credit institutions.
The Bank of Finland’s statistics service produces new data on buy-to-let mortgages
The Bank of Finland’s statistics service has regularly produced data on housing loans, including mortgages on holiday homes.
The housing loan market has been exceptionally brisk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Up-to-date information has attracted general interest, and the media has been following the Bank’s publications closely.
At the end of the third quarter of 2021, households owed EUR 106.0 billion in mortgage loans and EUR 20.1 billion in loans from housing cooperatives.
In 2021, the Bank of Finland also collected data from credit institutions on buy-to-let mortgages. More and more investors are looking to profit from investing in property, financed through borrowing.
At the end of December 2021, Finnish households owed a total of EUR 8.6 billion in buy-to-let mortgages, which accounted for 8.1% of all household loans.
At the same time, a substantially higher rate of interest was payable on new buy-to-let mortgages (0.94%) than on owner occupier mortgages.
The Bank of Finland has published information on buy-to-let mortgages on the analytical loans and deposits dashboard.
Monitoring and analysis of corporate finance made use of the new granular database in 2021
The assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and on finance has involved a close watch on trends in corporate finance and an evaluation of those trends.
The monitoring of corporate finance has entailed the use of indicators produced from statistics on banking and securities, although these have been supplemented and fine-tuned with new granular data.
The collection of granular data has made it possible to gain a sharper image of financial intermediation with respect to companies than in previous years.
It has meant being able to respond promptly to the issues that have arisen and have increased in number due to the pandemic.
The Bank of Finland has also made robust efforts to improve the quality of the data on sustainable development, add to it, and make it more accessible. At the start of 2021, the Bank launched a project to measure the carbon footprint of its corporate loan portfolio.
This involved an innovative indicator combining the granular corporate loan portfolio with carbon footprint data on corporate counterparties in the Energy Authority’s emissions trading data (in Finnish).
The indicator aroused interest internationally, and the Bank of Finland also reported on the preliminary results at the IMF (International Monetary Fund) Statistical Forum. More on the Bank of Finland’s efforts to manage climate risks is described in the section ‘Financial sector has a major role to play in combating climate change’.
New Data Academy will use new statistical data to address topical research issues crucial to decision-making
In 2021, the Bank of Finland, in collaboration with Statistics Finland, launched the joint Data Academy project, the aim of which is, firstly, to build a unique corporate finance dataset.
The intention is to use the combined data from the information pools of both organisations for purposes of analysis and research.
In future, the aim of the project is also to share information and knowledge concerning the use of data and associated technical skills, and to investigate the need to produce new data.
In 2021 the Bank of Finland actively developed its compilation of statistics in accordance with European guidelines
Statistics on payments have been extended and updated, as ways of paying have changed in many ways in recent years.
A project is under way at the Bank of Finland to implement in Finland the new requirements for compiling payments statistics in the euro area (ECB/2020/59). The new data will be collected for the first time for the first quarter of 2022.
The Bank of Finland has compiled statistics on individual voluntary pension funds, especially for the European Central Bank (ECB) and for the preparation of the financial accounts, since February 2020.
In 2021, the Bank of Finland improved the coverage of these statistics and the availability of quarterly statistics. Not all entities were previously covered in the quarterly reports.
In the compilation of statistics on pension funds, the Bank of Finland employs the results of the Financial Supervisory Authority’s data collection, which is undertaken in accordance with European regulations.
Unlike in many European countries, the voluntary pension fund sector has not grown very substantially in Finland and the pension institutions continue to hold most pension assets.
New Integrated Reporting Framework aimed at reducing statistics reporting burden on banks
The ECB Governing Council decided in December 2021 to kickstart the Integrated Reporting Framework (IReF), in the preparations for which the Bank of Finland has been closely involved.
The purpose of the project is to integrate and harmonise the collection of statistical data by banks in the euro area. It is expected to reduce the statistics reporting burden for banks, as the reporting process will be standardised.
The cost-benefit survey conducted in spring 2021 suggests that the IReF was given a strong mandate by the sector, the users of data and the compilers of statistics too.
The IReF is the biggest ever project targeted at the ESCB statistics service. According to a provisional timetable, reporting under the new framework is to start 2026-2027.