Modernising economic and financial statistics
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) collects data from the financial sector (e.g. banks, building societies and credit unions) for the ABS and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). The current version of the set of forms used to collect these data was introduced in 2002. The forms have not been comprehensively updated since then.
Over the past few years, APRA, the ABS and the RBA have worked with the finance industry to modernise Australia’s financial sector data. These data are used in key economic outputs such as the ABS’ national accounts releases, RBA’s financial aggregates, and APRA’s statistics on Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs). The new Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection will significantly improve the information available on financial conditions in Australia. This information is important in understanding what is happening in the economy and identifying any risks to financial stability.
The new EFS collection will include:
- classifying loans by purpose to better meet user needs and provide more accurate data on items such as whether lending is for owner-occupier homes or investment
- collecting much more detailed data on loan approvals and loan and deposit balances
- using the most up to date classifications available for industry and the economic sector
- using definitions that align with current international standards for economic statistics.
Modernising the EFS collection is a large, complex project and is being implemented in phases, over multiple financial years. Over the past three years, APRA, the RBA and the ABS have focused on consulting with the financial sector on the design of the new forms and providing detailed guidance on how to report. During this period banks and other reporting institutions adapted their systems to report on the new forms. A key milestone for the project was achieved in April 2019, when we received data for the first phase of the EFS project (including detailed balance sheet information). This information will be reflected in monthly outputs from the RBA and APRA, quarterly APRA publications, and in the quarterly ABS publication Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth.
In 2018–19, there were multiple parallel runs (where APRA collected data from the new EFS collection and the ABS, RBA and APRA analysed the new data while continuing to collect and publish data on the current basis) to assess the new data ahead of its release in 2019–20. Parallel runs will continue in 2019–20. Table 3.1 shows the publications that will change as a result of the EFS collection and the timing of these changes.
Table 3.1: Publications changing as a result of the EFS collection
First EFS data release
|Reserve Bank of Australia|
|Australian Prudential Regulation Authority|
|ADI Performance Statistics|
|ADI Property Exposure Statistics|
|Australian Bureau of Statistics|
|Australian National Accounts: Finance & Wealth|
|Lending to Households & Businesses|
|Australian System of National Accounts|
|Australian National Accounts: State Accounts|
|Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure & Product|
Providing better economic and financial data to help inform important decisions about the economy will continue to be a focus in 2019-20 as we move to the next phases of the EFS project.