The sector financial corporations consists of all corporations and quasi-corporations which are principally engaged in financial intermediation (financial intermediaries) and/or in auxiliary financial activities (financial auxiliaries).
Financial intermediation is the activity in which an institutional unit acquires financial assets and at the same time incurs liabilities on its own account by engaging in financial transactions on the market. The assets and liabilities of the financial intermediaries have different characteristics, involving that the funds are transformed or repackaged with respect to maturity, scale, risk and the like in the financial intermediation process.
Auxiliary financial activities are activities closely related to financial intermediation but which are not financial intermediation themselves.
According to ESA 2010 the financial corporations sector is subdivided into the following subsectors:
- central bank (S.121);
- deposit-taking corporations except the central bank (S.122): these are the credit institutions;
- money market funds (MMFs) (S.123): these are collective investment undertakings whose shares or units are close substitutes for deposits and whose investments are primarily in money market fund shares/units, short-term debt securities, and/or deposits;
- non-MMF investment funds (S.124): these are collective investment undertakings whose investment fund shares or units are not seen as close substitutes for deposits;
- other financial intermediaries, except insurance corporations and pension funds (S.125);
- financial auxiliaries (S.126): this is grouping different corporations like Mutual Funds Management, Corporations for Asset Management, head offices whose subsidiaries are mostly financial corporations, ,….;
- captive financial institutions and money lenders (S.127): these are mainly holding companies;
- insurance corporations (S.128);
- pension funds (S.129).
A detailed description of the sub-sectors with examples can be found at CIS SEC2010.
The statistics of the financial corporations provide macro-economic data and are manely composed of balance sheet data coming from financial institutions. Another interesting statistical information is coming from surveys: the Bank Lending Survey and the MIR survey.
The MFI group (Monetary Financial Institutions) is considered as an important group for statistics and is composed of the central bank (S. 121), credit institutions (S. 122) and money market funds (S.123). They form an essential input for the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB).
The banking statistics are produced on the basis of the detailed balance sheets of the monetary financial institutions (MFIs). A number of detailed presentations are included for the subsector of the credit institutions, distinguished according to size category and legal form. In addition, the profit and loss account aggregates and off-balance-sheet data are also reported. The detailed accounting data of the MFIs are also the source of various sets of financial and economic statistics.
The monetary statistics are very closely linked to the banking statistics. They form an essential input for the first pillar of the monetary policy of the ECB. The best-known statistics concern the monetary aggregates which are calculated in accordance with harmonised definitions applicable to all EMU countries.