This report is a two-stage survey of finance and mortgage companies. The first stage is a simple questionnaire (FR 3033p) that is sent to all known domestic finance and mortgage companies and that asks for information about each company's total net assets, areas of specialization, and other characteristics. From the questionnaire respondents, the Federal Reserve draws a stratified random sample of finance and mortgage companies for the second stage, the survey itself (FR 3033s). The survey requests detailed information from both sides of the respondents' balance sheets.
The Board initiates data collection and analysis, and staff at the Federal Reserve Banks follow up on data quality issues, collect data from late FR 3033s, and resolve other outstanding questions.
Purpose: The data are used to benchmark the consumer and business finance series collected on the Domestic Finance Company Report of Consolidated Assets and Liabilities (FR 2248). Finance companies are a major supplier of credit to households and businesses. As currently defined, they manage about 25 percent of total consumer credit outstanding, a market share second to that of commercial banks. The data obtained from the quinquennial survey (FR 3033s) have been instrumental in identifying particular data items with relatively large estimation errors and for supplementing the monthly FR 2248 respondent panel.
The Finance Company Questionnaire was initiated in 1955 to evaluate and improve the FR 2248 respondent panel and benchmark its monthly data. Initially, the survey was mailed to all known finance companies, but in 1980 the number of respondents was limited to a stratified random sample. The survey has been revised every five years to reflect changes in the credit markets. The 1990 update included the addition of a number of supplemental items on asset-backed securities. In 2005, the scope of the survey was broadened to include mortgage companies - that is, companies in which the majority of assets are liens on real estate.
In the most recent surveys, the FR 3033p panel consisted of about 3,000 finance companies and FR 3033s panel consisted of about 600 finance companies.
Every five years.
Microdata are confidential.