Latest release
Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods
Reference period
2020-21 financial year


15.82    The 2008 SNA does not provide a precise definition of a deposit. As a result, the distinction between deposits and loans in the ASNA is made by the convention that deposit liabilities can only be incurred by institutions included in RBA broad money, and therefore their asset counterpart is similarly restricted. Additionally, the conventions are adopted that all account balances (not evidenced by a security) between broad money institutions are classified as deposits or withdrawable share capital of building societies and that all domestic non-security borrowings by broad money institutions are classified as deposits are adopted. There are some classes of financial asset that may be described as deposits as a result of these conventions, such as account balances at State Treasuries, but which are classified as loans in the ASNA.

15.83    It follows from the convention above that deposit liabilities can only be incurred by institutions included in RBA broad money. The following financial institutions should therefore be classified as deposit taking in ASNA: the RBA; banks; credit unions; building societies; cash management trusts; and registered financial corporations. There have been minor changes to the definition of deposit-taking institution with the implementation of 2008 SNA in the ASNA. For example, cash management trusts are no longer included as deposit-takers. The units issued by cash management trusts were previously classified as deposits and are now classified as equity in money market investment funds.

15.84    In the ASNA, deposits are further classified into transferable deposits and other deposits.

Transferable deposits

15.85    Transferable deposits comprise all deposits that are exchangeable for banknotes and coins on demand — at par and without penalty or restriction — and are directly usable for making payments by cheque, draft, direct debit/credit, or another direct payment facility. A transferable deposit cannot have a negative value. For example, a bank current (or checking) account is normally treated as a transferable deposit but, if overdrawn, the withdrawal of funds to zero is treated as the withdrawal of a deposit, and the amount of the overdraft is treated as the granting of a loan.

Other deposits

15.86    Other deposits comprise all claims that are represented by evidence of deposit, other than transferable deposits. Typical forms of deposits that should be included are savings deposits (which are always non-transferable), fixed-term deposits and non-negotiable certificates of deposit. Deposits of limited transferability that are excluded from the category of transferable deposits are included here. Claims on the IMF that are components of international reserves, and not evidenced by loans, are recorded in other deposits. Repayable margin payments in cash related to derivative contracts are included in other deposits only when the counterparty is a broad money institution; otherwise, they are included as loans.

Sources and methods - quarterly

15.87    Deposits data in the ASNA is compiled for both 'Transferable Deposits' and 'Other Deposits'. Data sources defined below have available detailed information on the type of deposit accounts allowing a clear distinction between those of a short-term and long-term nature.

15.88    The ASNA does not make a distinction between deposits and loans for balances and transactions between ADIs. For practical reasons, all balances and transactions related to deposits and loans between such institutions are classified as deposits. Similarly, most liability account balances of ADIs which are not evidenced by a security are treated as deposits. This treatment is not extended to the rest of the world. The ABS Survey of International Investment provides clear direction for institutions to report their loans and deposits in the survey form.

15.89    The table below outlines the data sources and methods used in the estimation of quarterly deposits by sector in current prices. The estimates are derived at face value. Real estimates are calculated for the national balance sheet.

15.3 Quarterly deposits – by subsector
Reserve Bank of Australia
 The main source of data for total deposits accepted by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the respective counterparty asset holders are obtained from the ABS Survey of Financial Information – Reserve Bank of Australia.
Authorised deposit-taking institutions
 Data for total deposits accepted by  ADIs and other broad money institutions are obtained from the balance sheet information from the from the APRA Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection., submitted by banks, building societies, credit unions and registered financial corporations.

The counterparty assets holders for deposits excluding other private non-financial corporations are obtained from the suite of balance sheet forms from the ABS Survey of Financial Information; the APRA Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection; the ABS Survey of International Investment; and quarterly returns for self-managed superannuation funds to the ATO.

A residual asset holding of deposits is calculated as total liabilities (acceptances) less the sum of total assets held (from the ABS, APRA and ATO forms). The residual is allocated to other private non-financial corporations.
Rest of the world
 The main data source for total deposits accepted by the rest of the world and the respective counterparty asset holders are obtained from the ABS Survey of International Investment.
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