May 18, 2010

Board begins 2010 Census of Finance Companies

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve System in May will begin its 2010 Census of Finance Companies. The census is a key part of a larger effort to paint a complete and continuing picture of this important sector of the U.S. economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

"The Federal Reserve System is conducting this census to collect basic information on the size and structure of the companies that supply credit to households or businesses," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a letter to prospective census participants. "The results will contribute to better-informed policy decisions."

The assets and liabilities of finance companies have been surveyed by the Federal Reserve at roughly five-year intervals since 1955. The data collected provide a benchmark for the System's monthly report on the outstanding accounts receivable of finance companies (presented in the Federal Reserve's G.20 statistical release) and provide a comprehensive update on these companies' sources of funds. This information in turn becomes an important input to the estimates of total consumer credit (presented in the Federal Reserve's G.19 statistical release) and the U.S. flow of funds accounts.

The attached letter from Chairman Bernanke was sent to approximately 27,000 companies urging their participation in the census. The responses will be kept confidential.

Results of the 2010 Census of Finance Companies, which is unrelated to the 2010 Census of Population, will be published in an upcoming edition of the Federal Reserve Bulletin.

Letter from Chairman Bernanke

Last Update: May 18, 2010