Public disclosure of the trading and derivatives activities of banks and securities firms

November 1995

This document surveys annual report disclosures about the trading (on-balance-sheet instruments and off-balance-sheet derivatives) and non-trading derivatives activities of a sample of large, internationally active banks and securities firms in the G-10 countries, comparing their disclosures in 1994 with those of 1993. The institutions reviewed were primarily large dealers rather than end-users of derivatives. The survey is intended to provide internationally active banks and securities firms with a picture of the type of information currently disclosed by their peers at the international level. The report also contains recommendations for further improvements in banks' and securities firms' public disclosures about their trading and derivatives activities. These recommendations draw on the concepts developed in the Discussion Paper on Public Disclosure of Market and Credit Risks by Financial Intermediaries ("the Fisher report"), released by the Euro-currency Standing Committee of the G-10 central banks in September 1994 and on the Framework for Supervisory Information About the Derivatives Activities of Banks and Securities Firms ("the Supervisory Information Framework"), released jointly by the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision and the IOSCO Technical Committee in May 1995. Since 1993, other bodies, including industry groups as well as national and international accounting authorities, have also launched important initiatives to improve public disclosures, notably with regard to derivatives activities.