Improving the BIS international banking statistics

Press release  | 
09 November 2012

A report released today by the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS) documents a series of enhancements which are designed to make significant and long-lasting improvements to the international banking statistics (IBS) collected by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

In particular, the enhancements will provide a more comprehensive picture of national banking systems' global consolidated balance sheets, allow for a more detailed analysis of vis-à-vis country information, and help to better track banks' funding patterns and associated risks. They will also make national contributions to the IBS more complete and accessible.

The report provides a short introduction to the IBS and their main uses and discusses the nature and rationale of the forthcoming changes, which have been developed by a group of statistical experts and economists chaired by Werner Hermann of the Swiss National Bank.

Like earlier financial crises, events following the Lehman bankruptcy had highlighted the need for improved data for financial stability analysis, including possible enhancements to the BIS international banking statistics - a key data set collected under the auspices of the CGFS.

William C Dudley, CGFS Chairman and President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, says in the preface of the report: "We hope that the statistical enhancements described in this report will help close some of the important data gaps revealed by the recent crisis, aiding central banks, other policymakers and private sector analysts in their monitoring of financial sector developments."

Specific questions regarding this paper may be sent to the Committee on the Global Financial System by e-mail (