This report is a two-stage survey of finance companies. The first stage is the Census of Finance Companies (FR 3033p) that is sent to all known domestic companies that are likely to supply credit or lease financing to households and businesses. It asks for information about each company's total assets, areas of specialization, and other characteristics. From the questionnaire respondents, the Federal Reserve draws a stratified random sample of finance companies for the second stage, the Survey of Finance Companies (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 nonrespondents, 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 20 percent of total consumer credit outstanding, a market share second to that of commercial banks. The data obtained from the quinquennial survey (FR 3033p/s) have been instrumental in identifying the universe of finance companies and particular data items with relatively large estimation errors and for supplementing the monthly FR 2248 respondent panel.
The quinquennial survey of finance companies was initiated in 1955 and 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 2015, companies were asked on FR 3033p to provide more detailed information on the types of credit or financing that they offer.
In the most recent surveys, the FR 3033p panel consisted of more than 37,000 companies and FR 3033s panel consisted of about 2500 finance companies.
Every five years.
Microdata are confidential.