On 28 November 2013, the Governing Council of the ECB approved a Regulation (Regulation ECB/2013/43, or Regulation (EU) 1409/2013), establishing the reference framework for ensuring the collection of basic data needed for producing detailed statistics on payments and payment systems.

Statistics compiled on the basis of these date are deemed necessary for carrying out the tasks laid down by the Statutes of the ESCB and the ECB. These statistics are moreover provided for by Council Regulation (EC) 2533/98 concerning the collection of statistical information by the ECB.

The new Regulation aims to ensure better coverage and higher quality and reliability of the statistics in question. Its implementation replaces the current practice followed in compiling the ECB’s statistics on payments, included in particular in the Blue Book. The new requirements will help ensure greater consistency between the statistics provided by the various central banks that form part of the ESCB and, in this way, allow better comparability between the data. Consequently, the statistics will better meet the needs of users identified in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

The data collection will be arranged among all payment service providers, including electronic money issuers, and payment system operators. It will be held annually and will cover all transactions during the year for which data are notified. The information will have to be sent to the ECB by the Bank on the last working day of the month of May in the year following the reference year for the declaration. To this end, the Bank will set the date by which reporting parties will need to provide it with basic information. The Bank will also arrange for reporting parties to have access to the list of declarants and any updates.

Since the data collection is governed by an ECB Regulation, its implementing provisions apply directly to the economic stakeholders concerned and give them the obligation to supply the required information.

The ECB Regulation nevertheless stipulates that the declaration arrangement must be put into practice in accordance with national rules and regulations and some of its practical arrangements are left up to the national central banks. The National Bank of Belgium therefore plans to adopt the necessary instructions for arranging the data collection in Belgium.

Part of the information that Regulation (EU) 1409/2013 requires to be gathered is already covered by surveys organised under other legal provisions, especially those of the law of 25 April 2014 regarding the statute and the control of the credit institutions and those of the law of 21 December 2009 regarding the statute of payment institutions and issuers of electronic money. Declarants meet the requirements stemming from the aforementioned Regulation (EU) 1409/2013 by replying to these surveys and, if need be, by supplying any additional information described in the Bank’s instructions on payments statistics. This approach allows to limit the increase of the reporting burden.

The first data-collecting exercise among reporting parties will refer to the last semester of 2014.