3.6 Revised statistics compilation provides improved data on financial markets
The sharp fluctuations in the financial markets in 2022 heightened interest in the statistical data produced by the Bank of Finland. The Bank harmonised its approach to compiling statistics on insurance and securities and launched a new process for collecting payment and fraud data. As part of the European System of Central Banks, the Bank took an active role in the collaborative work within the statistics sector. This work focused on preparations for the Integrated Reporting Framework (IReF) and climate indicators in the financial sector.
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 2022, users of the statistics produced by the Bank of Finland were particularly interested in the dynamics of the financial markets. Companies in the manufacturing and energy sectors, in particular, were in urgent need of financing on a massive scale, and they took out more new loans than before. After a busy start to 2022, the housing and mortgage markets quietened down towards the end of the year. Households’ financing costs grew with the rise in interest rates, although the statistics suggest that mortgage-related difficulties for the banks were only slight.
Bank of Finland harmonised its processes for compiling statistics on insurance institutions and securities
Every quarter, the Bank of Finland compiles statistics on insurance institutions from Solvency II data for the European Central Bank (ECB) and also provides data to Statistics Finland concerning the national financial accounts and the balance of payments.
In 2022, the Bank of Finland undertook an IT project to modify the process for compiling data on insurance institutions so as to harmonise it with the procedures for other statistics compiled by the Bank. The new process makes use of the previous statistical systems and replaces the separate tool that was used in compiling statistics on insurance institutions.
Additionally, the Bank ended the use of a separate questionnaire on securities-based assets and liabilities for insurance institutions, which will reduce the reporting burden for those concerned.
Bank of Finland launched a new process for collecting payment and fraud data
In 2022, the Bank of Finland launched a new process for collecting payment and fraud data. This involves a reporting obligation, which applies to Finnish credit and payment institutions, the branches of similar foreign institutions in Finland, and registered entities providing payment services without a licence.
The collection of payment and fraud data replaces the previous annual collection of data on payment transactions.
The reporting frequency was increased to every quarter and half-year, and certain aspects of the Financial Supervisory Authority’s reporting were integrated with the data collection process. The data collected now are largely based on the ECB Regulation on payments statistics, although they also cater for other national needs for information.
The aim of the data collection is to obtain a more comprehensive picture of retail payments at home and abroad and permit deeper analysis of the use of payment instruments, arrangements and channels.
ECB is standardising statistical data collection for euro area banks
The Bank of Finland took an active role during the year in the Integrated Reporting Framework (IReF) launched by the ECB’s Governing Council in December 2021.
The purpose of the project is to integrate and harmonise the collection of statistical data by banks in the euro area, thus reducing the statistical reporting burden for those banks.
The results of the cost-benefit survey of banks by the ECB in spring 2021 have been published in respect of national requirements and technical implementation. At the same time a supplementary survey to be carried out in spring 2023 has been prepared.
The drafting of an IReF regulation and the specification of system requirements will begin during 2023. The provisional timetable for the start of reporting under the new framework is early 2027.
Bank of Finland involved in international development of climate statistics compilation
The lack of statistics on climate in the financial sector and comparable data on the subject have for a long time hampered the assessment of the risks associated with climate change and the financing of the climate transition.
In 2022, the Bank of Finland was actively involved in the development work on financial sector climate statistics and particularly the data foundation for this, through the NGFS climate network of central banks and financial supervisors (Network for Greening the Financial System).
The Bank of Finland was also active in furthering the work of the Statistics Committee of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) to improve climate statistics in the financial sector. A team of specialists used new techniques to produce methods for establishing and testing indicators. The indicators were developed to describe the physical and transition risks to the financial sector.
The ECB’s Governing Council considered the team’s report in November 2022, and the indicators were published in early 2023. The section of this Annual Report entitled ‘Macroprudential policy strengthens financial stability’ provides more in-depth information on the Bank of Finland’s work in the areas of climate risks and green financing.