Financial accounts statistics

The financial accounts are an integrated statistical system recording the internal and external financial linkages in the economy broken down by institutional sectors and financial instruments. They consist of the opening and closing balance sheets and three flow accounts (the financial account, i.e. the financial transactions account, the revaluation account and the other changes in assets account). The system is closed with regard to both flows and stocks, i.e. all changes in stocks must be fully accounted for by recorded flows.

The financial accounts system supplements the picture of the business cycle by incorporating data on financial linkages. The accounts aim to provide a better insight into the structure and operation of the financial system and to show the main channels used to obtain and invest money. The financial accounts are an important source of information with broad application in monetary policy analyses as well as financial stability analyses of the national economy, individual institutional sectors and the interactions between them.

The quarterly financial accounts differ from the standard statistics produced at the CNB in several respects:

  • the breadth of focus and the scope of the inter-sectoral financial linkages recorded,
  • the use of data collected by entities outside the central bank,
  • higher resort to estimation methods,
  • the application of accounting and statistical standards that do not always comply with other statistics published by the central bank.

The financial accounts are compiled at quarterly and annual frequency. The Czech National Bank is responsible for compiling the quarterly financial accounts in the Czech Republic. The Czech Statistical Office is responsible for compiling the annual financial accounts. The two institutions work together closely in the exchange and sharing of statistical data sources to achieve maximum possible harmonisation of these statistics. This cooperation is based on an agreement adopted in 2011 stipulating principles for the collection, exchange and sharing of primary data for organisations of the financial corporations sector. This agreement is being extended to include other data areas on an ongoing basis.

The quarterly financial accounts data are released along with a commentary 104 days after the end of the reference quarter. A revision of the previous quarter’s data is also regularly released together with the data for the current quarter. Data for four or more quarters are updated retrospectively twice a year following the revision of the main source statistics (government statistics, international investment position, annual national accounts). In the longer term, the whole time series is revised where appropriate (e.g. due to changes in methodology). The time series of quarterly financial accounts is now available as from 2004 in the form of the final balance sheet, the financial account and the joint revaluation and other changes in assets account.

Quarterly financial accounts for all the EU Member States are published on the ECB website. To capture economic processes in the euro area, the ECB publishes a set of quarterly Euro Area Accounts (EAA) as its key information system presenting harmonised non-financial and financial accounts statistics.

In the EU countries, the compilation of financial accounts is governed by the European System of Accounts (ESA), a binding regulation ensuring internal consistency and international comparability of the accounts and tables compiled. A new European standard, ESA 2010, was approved in 2013. The CNB has been published quarterly financial accounts under the new methodology since October 2014. Back data since 2004 are available in the ARAD database.

The fundamental methodological document is Regulation (EU) No. 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013, on the European system of national and regional accounts (pdf, 6.3 MB) in the European Union. Eurostat has developed a special “Manual on the Changes between ESA 95 and ESA 2010 (pdf, 1.1 MB)” for the majority of the most important changes in methodology. This manual provides a guide to the practical implementation of the general methodological recommendations. Consistency between external and national macroeconomic statistics should be ensured by a parallel transition to the new BPM6 methodological standard for compilation of the balance of payments, which is almost entirely harmonised in terms of methodology with ESA 2010.

ESA 2010 differs from the previous version in both scope and concept. The changes to the financial accounts relate to both to the financial balance sheet (deeper classification of institutional sectors, changes in the scope and structure of financial assets) and to the flow accounts (specification of financial transactions and other flows). The complexity of the financial linkages and the breadth of their coverage in the quarterly financial accounts statistics put considerable demands on data sources. The high need for input data can be covered largely by partial statistics or additional sources, but full coverage is impossible and estimates are unavoidable. As ESA 2010 is of a rather general nature, the Czech National Bank has therefore worked out a more detailed methodology taking into account the data sources available in the Czech Republic and the national legal environment. A user version of this methodology is available to the public (see the link below).

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