In the flow of funds accounts, holding companies are parent companies of U.S.-chartered depository institutions. This sector consists of those holding companies that file the Federal Reserve's Form FR Y-9LP, Parent Company Only Financial Statements for Large Bank Holding Companies, the Y-9SP, Parent Company Only Financial Statements for Small Bank Holding Companies, or the FR 2320, Quarterly Savings and Loan Holding Company Report. Holding companies required to file the Y-9LP include those with total consolidated assets of $500 million or more or meet other criteria, such as having a material amount of debt or equity securities outstanding that are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, being engaged in significant nonbanking activity, or conducting off-balance-sheet activities either directly or through a nonbank subsidiary. Those holding companies required to file the Y-9SP have total consolidated assets less than $500 million. The FR 2320 must be filed by top-tier savings and loan holding companies exempt from initially filing the Y-9LP or Y-9SP, because even though they own a savings and loan institution, that is not their primary line of business. Mutual stock companies that file the FR 2320 are excluded because they do not hold any assets or liabilities at the holding company level.
The major assets of holding companies, other than small amounts of loans and securities, are net transactions with their subsidiaries; this includes equity investments in subsidiaries and associated banks and net balances due from subsidiaries and related depository institutions. The main source of funding for the sector is the issuance of corporate bonds and commercial paper.
This sector had a large increase in the level of its assets and liabilities in the first quarter of 2009 because a number of large financial institutions became bank holding companies. These companies--including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Express, CIT Group, GMAC, Discover Financial Services, and IB Finance--had not previously been included in the flow of funds accounts. Starting with the first quarter of 2012, savings and loan holding companies (SLHCs) are required to file the Y-9 forms and the FR 2320. Beginning in 2012:Q3, series "breaks" reflect firms with parent assets of more than $10 billion entering or exiting the sector due to the purchase or sale of a bank or savings and loan institution.