About the statistics
Name and topic
Name: Financial accounts
Topic: National accounts and business cycles
Division for Financial Accounts
Definitions of the main concepts and variables
1. Net lending defined in non-financial accounts (capital account) =
saving + net capital transfers - net acquisition of non-financial assets
2. Net lending defined in financial accounts =
net acquisition of financial assets - net incurrence of liabilities
Savings is non-consumed income and can be invested in financial or non-financial assets. If savings exceed non-financial investments, a sector has surplus of funds and becomes a net lender to other sectors. In the financial transaction account, this means that the sector acquire more financial assets than liabilities. On the other hand, if savings are less than non-financial investments, investments have to be funded either by selling financial assets or incurring debts. For example, household investments in non-financial assets mainly reflect the purchase of new housing and fixed investments by unincorporated enterprises. They typically finance substantial parts of these investments by incurring debt in the form of loans.
Net financial assets (net financial wealth) = total financial assets - total liabilities
The financial balance sheet shows the financial position of a sector at the end of the reference period and is broken down into categories of financial assets and liabilities. The predominant assets held by, for example, the households are insurance technical reserves, currency and deposits, while loans provided by financial corporations (banks etc) constitute the main proportion of liabilities.
Changes in net financial asset = net lending + other change in assets, net
The change in the financial balance sheet during the reference period is a result of accumulated financial transactions and other changes in assets. The latter category mainly reflects revaluations due to changes in market prices of financial instruments.
The accounting system provides the framework and contents required for compiling national accounts statistics. In the system, each financial asset has a counterpart liability. This is reflected by the data structure of the financial accounts which is three-dimensional; creditor sector * debtor sector * financial instrument.
Institutional sector classification
Each institutional sector comprises institutional units with broadly similar behaviour. The institutional units are grouped into mutually exclusive institutional sectors on the basis of economic activity, organisational structure and ownership. Institutional units are autonomous entities that are capable, in their own right, of owning assets, incurring liabilities and engaging in economic activities and in transactions with other entities. In most cases, the institutional unit is identical to the legal unit or persons or groups of persons in the form of households.
The institutional sector classification in the financial accounts is based on the recommendations of the SNA 2008 and ESA 2010. The main sectors of system are detailed below:
1 Total economy
The total economy of a country consists of all institutional units having their centre of predominant economic interest in the economic territory of that country. Such uints are known as resident units, irrespsctive of natonalty and legal form.
Braches and other establishment of Norwegian corporation abroad are not included. See rest of world.
11 Non-financial corporations
The sector covers institutional units engaged in the market production of non-financial products and services. The main sector is divided into the following sub-sectors:
- Public enterprises, owned by central government
- Public enterprises, owned by local government
- Private non-financial enterprises including private non-profit institutions serving enterprises
The reconciliation sector, which shows the inconsistencies between debtor and creditor sector information, is treated as a separate sector. The data for the reconciliation sector has been added to the non-financial corporation sector in the reports to Eurostat and OECD.
12 Financial corporations
The sector covers institutional units engaged the market production of financial services and in financial activities. The sector comprise entities that are credit intermediaries or offer insurance products and services, mutual funds, financial holding companies, but also entities whose main activities are financial auxiliary services (e. g. brokerage services, fund management services, financial register services etc.). The main sector is divided into the following sub-sectors:
- Norges Bank
- Other monetary financial institutions
- Banks (commercial and savings banks)
- Mortgage companies
- Money market funds
- Other financial intermediaries, except insurance corporations and pension funds
- Mutual funds expect money market funds
- Finance companies
- Investment trusts and private equity funds
- Financial holding companies and financial auxiliaries
- State lending institutions and state investment companies
- Insurance corporations and pension funds
- Life-insurance companies and
- Non-life insurance companies
- Pension funds
13 General government
The sector covers all state, municipal and county municipal administrative bodies. The Government Pension Fund - Global (previously known as Petroleum Fund) and The Government Pension Fund - Norway (previously known as the National Insurance Scheme Fund) are also included. Public corporations and unincorporated public enterprises (financial or non-financial) are not included.
In addition to carrying out political responsibilities, the general government sector provides and enforces regulations, produces public services (mainly non-market) and redistributes income and wealth. The general government sector has tax revenues and borrowed capital at its disposal. The main sector is divided into the following sub-sectors:
- Central government
- Local government
The households sector covers wage-earners, retirees, recipients of national insurance benefits, unincorporated enterprises and tenant-owner’s associations etc. The households consume goods and
services, supplies labour and as entrepreneurs, supplies the production of market goods and services. The sector comprises the &“consumers of the economy´´. Total consumption expenditure is partly financed by the households themselves, partly by general government and partly non-profit institutions serving households. The households also produces goods and services for their own consumption. The services related to housing is the largest part of the self-produced, self-consumed service. Because the property in tenant-owner’s associations are considered as owner-tenant properties, the tenant-owner associations are included in the households sector.
15 Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH)
NPISHs consist of non-profit institutions that are separate legal entities, which serve households and which are principally engaged in the production of non-market goods and services intended for households. Their main resources, apart from those derived from occasional sales, are transfers from general government, voluntary contributions by households and corporations, and property income.
2 Rest of the world
This institutional sector includes all non-resident institutional units that enter into transactions with resident units, or have other economic links with resident units. This includes:
- Non-resident institutional units controlled by foreign or Norwegian corporations.
- Natural persons who are permanent resident abroad (including Norwegian citizens)
- Staff of foreign embassies, foreign embassies and consulates and in Norway
The classification of financial assets and liabilities
The financial accounts include a limited number of financial instrument groups with detailed claims and debt items in the balance sheets of institutional units. The financial instrument links one entity claim to another sector’s debt items. The financial instruments are grouped in claim and debt items with similar economic functions. For example, the payment function is characteristic of coins, notes and salary accounts, while credit is procured through different types of loans. In addition, the liquidity ratio has been the determinant factor for the ranking of financial assets in the classification.
Classification of financial assets and liabilities in the financial accounts is based on the recommendations of the SNA 2008 and ESA 2010. The classifications are described below:
AF1 Monetary gold and drawing rights (SDR)
Comprise gold and special drawing rights (SDRs). Norges Bank sold most of its gold reserves in the 4 th quarter of 2003 and the rest of the reserves in the 2 nd quarter of 2004. The financial accounts distinguish between the following types of detailed financial instruments:
- Monetary gold
- Special drawing rights (SDR)
AF2 Currency and deposits
Comprise Norwegian and foreign notes and coins, all types of deposits with commercial banks and savings banks, Norges Bank and foreign banks. The net reserves position with the IMF is also included. The financial accounts distinguish between the following types of detailed financial instruments:
- Transferable deposits
- Other deposits
AF3 Dept securities
Comprise short and long-term securities. Short-term securities is defined as negotiable securities with original maturity of maximum one year, while long-term securities comprise instruments defined as tradable standardised debentures with original maturity of more than one year. The financial accounts distinguish between the following types of detailed financial instruments:
- Short-term securities
- Long-term securities
This financial instrument includes lending forms other than tradable debentures and certificates. Short-term loans are mainly quantified on the basis of the specifications in accounting statistics for financial corporations. The instrument comprises building loans, factoring, bank overdrafts, operating and working credit. Long-term loans comprise all loans other than short-term loans (mortgage bond issues, other medium and long-term repayment loans and financial leasing). The financial accounts distinguish between the following types of detailed financial instruments:
- Short-term loans
- Long-term loans
AF5 Shares and other equity
The instrument includes ordinary shares in limited liability companies, shares in general partnerships and shares in mutual funds. Shares in foreign companies are also included. Furthermore, the instrument includes tradable Norwegian equity certificates and general government capital contributions in public enterprises and the state lending institutions. The financial accounts distinguish between the following types of detailed financial instruments:
- Quoted shares
- Unquoted shares
- Equity certificates
- Capital contributions
- Mutual funds shares
AF6 Insurance technical reserves
The instrument includes individual insurance savings and group insurance savings in private life insurance companies and total capital in autonomous municipal and private pension funds. Prepayments of premiums and reserves against outstanding claims in non-life insurance companies are also included.
The financial accounts distinguish between the following types of detailed financial instruments:
- Non-life insurance technical reserves and provisions for calls under standardised guarantees
- Life insurance and annuity entitlements
- Pension entitlements
- Claims of pension funds on pension managers
AF7 Financial derivatives and employee stock options
Financial derivatives are not quantified as a separate financial instrument but are included in AF8 Other accounts receivable/payable (see AF8).
- Financial derivatives
- Employee stock options
AF8 Other accounts receivabl e/payable
Comprise claims and debt that is due to differences in timing between transactions and payments. For example credit extended to a customer/supplier credit, deferred tax claims/liabilities. Included are also other financial items that do not belong to the previously listed instruments. Derivatives recorded in the accounting statistics are included. The financial accounts distinguish between the following types of detailed financial instruments:
- Trade credits and advances
- Other accounts receivable/payable
- Tax claims/tax debt
- Other accounts receivable/payable excluding tax claims/tax debt
Frequency and timeliness
The first version of the accounts for quarter k is accessible about k+80 days after the end of the quarter in question. A normal procedure entails all of the input data accessible for the compilations being incorporated in the financial accounts database system about 2 years after the end of the accounting year (t + 2 years).
Eurostat, Organisation for Economic Co-orporation and Development(OECD) and Bank for International Settlement (BIS).
Background and purpose
The financial accounts are designed to provide a consistent and comprehensive survey of institutional sectors assets, liabilities and financial transactions. The financial accounts also provide information on asset relationships between different sectors of the domestic economy and between Norway and the rest of the world.
Financial accounts were established by Norges Bank.The purpose was to meet the demand for financial accounts data to macroeconomic models. The financial accounts where published for the first time in 1990 with time series from the 4 th quarter of 1975. A revised database system was launched in 2003 and the name of the system was change to Finse. Responsibility for financial accounts were transferred from Norges Bank to Statistics Norway as of 1 January 2007.
Finse is the name of today’s database system for the financial accounts with time series from 4 th quarter of 1995. The system was revised for the second time in 2014 and results from the main revision were published on 3 december 2014 with time series to 2nd quareter of 2014.
Users and applications
The financial accounts are a part of the national accounts system, which has been an important tool for macroeconomic analysis for many years. Among other things, Statistics Norway's macroeconomic models are mainly based on the national accounts statistics. Other users of the financial accounts data are the Ministry of Finance, Norges Bank, research institutes, financial sector analysts, international organisations, the media etc.
Equal treatment of users
No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08:00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar.
Coherence with other statistics
The relationship between financial accounts and other parts of the national accounts system is given by the balancing item net lending/net borrowing. In theory (SNA 2008 and ESA 2010), net lending derived from the non-financial accounts should be identical to net lending derived from the financial accounts. However, experience shows that significant discrepancies occur for several sectors in the system.
Council Regulation No 549/96 of 21 June 1996, The European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union (Text with EEA relevance).
The scope of the national accounts is defined in international guidelines in the System of National Accounts SNA 2008 (published by the UN, OECD, IMF, World Bank and the European Commission) and the European System of national and regional accounts ESA 2010.
The institutional part of the national accounts system describes all economic transactions involving the various institutional sectors and provides information on the stocks of financial and non-financial capital. The delineation of the economy with regard to the rest of the world is based on the concept of resident units. A unit is a resident unit when it is engaged in economic activity in a territory for a long period of time i.e. when it has a centre of economic interest in the economic territory in question for at least one year.
The financial accounts contain two fundamental types of information: flows and stocks. Flows refer to changes in stocks that take place during a certain period of time while stocks refer to the situation at a certain point in time e.g. at the beginning or the end of a period. The financial accounts distinguish between three main types of events that can appear during an accounting period
Changes in stocks that is due to change in ownership of financial assets based on mutual agreement between institutional entities. For example by buying/selling securities, or entering into contracts which simultaneously create a financial asset on one side and a counterpart liability on the other side. (e.g. loan contracts). These events are classified as transactions and they describe the entities behaviour in the financial markets.
- Holding gains and losses
The values of financial assets can also change due to changes in prices or exchange rates. These events are classified in a separate category and recorded as other changes in stock on the revaluations account.
- Other changes in volume
Changes that are due to extraordinary events (e.g. bankruptcies, natural catastrophes) or events of a non-economic nature (e.g. changes in statistical classifications, new definitions) are treated as a separate category and recorded as other changes in stock on the other change in volume of assets account.
Data sources and sampling
Financial accounts are mainly based on quarterly accounting statistics for financial corporations and mutual funds, quarterly balance of payments data and quarterly data from the Norwegian Central Securities Depository (VPS). The compilations are also based on annual accounting statistics for general government and different types of register-statistics. For areas with incomplete statistical coverage, it is necessary to rely on estimations, judgements and supplementary sources such as statistics for paid and assessed taxes and tax return statistics for individual taxpayers.
Collection of data, editing and estimations
The financial accounts are based on source statistics collected by other divisions in Statistics Norway.
The compilation process comprises a long list of reconciliation procedures and consistency checks, which also contributes to the quality assurance of the different statistical sources.
The source statistics may have to be adjusted in order to fulfil the requirements of the financial accounts; first source data have to be adapted to financial accounts data structure; source data are then balanced in the database system. In cases where we have two or more data sources for the same asset relationship, one data serie is selected according to predetermined rules. The most important choice is between creditor and debtor information. Discrepancies occur when there are differences in information given from the creditor and debtor respectively.
Discrepancies can be explained by different definitions or different estimations of value, but can also occur due to errors and shortcomings in the statistical sources. In cases where errors are revealed, this is reported to the division responsible for the compilation of the statistics in question.
Stocks and transactions are not adjusted. Rates and growth figures are published both adjusted and unadjusted.
Comparability over time and space
The Finse database provides comparable quarterly figures over time from the 4th quarter of 1995. The old database system Findatr, provides comparable quarterly financial balance sheets from the 4th quarter of 1975. Net lending/net borrowing exists as an annual time series for all sectors in Findatr, with the exception of financial accounts for households and NPISH, which have been published on a quarterly basis since 1990.
Sources of error and uncertainty
The financial accounts are compiled using different statistical sources. The uncertainty in the financial accounts figures is related to the uncertainty in source data and the compilation methods. Since the database system is an integrated system containing many routines for balancing and consistency checks of data, one could assume that the financial accounts help reduce some of the uncertainty in the source data. On the other hand, the financial accounts require compilation of figures in areas where source statistics are very limited or even lacking. The uncertainty can be substantial in these areas.
Particular uncertainty is attached to three asset relationships in the financial accounts. This relates to claims and debt between households and private non-financial enterprises, and households and private non-financial enterprises` claims with regard to rest of the world. The absence of detailed accounting statistics for private non-financial enterprises in particular contributes to the uncertainty in quantifying of the asset relationships between the non-financial enterprise sector and other sectors.
Revisions are made between first released financial accounts figures and later released figures for the same quarter. The quarterly statistical sources cause small revisions in the financial accounts time series, while annual accounting statistics (general government and public non-financial enterprises) remain preliminary for longer periods and figures are objects of revisions before statistics are regarded as final. The preliminary financial accounts figures are therefore more uncertain than the final figures for a quarter.