This report collects balance sheet and, where appropriate, off-balance-sheet data on major categories of consumer and business credit receivables and on major short-term liabilities held or securitized by finance companies. For quarter-end months (March, June, September, and December) additional asset and liability items are collected to provide a full balance sheet.
Purpose: The data are used to estimate the finance company component of the consumer credit statistics and the flow of funds accounts. At the end of 2009, finance companies represented the second largest provider of consumer credit, owning 20 percent of all consumer credit and managing an additional 5 percent of consumer credit in the form of securitized pools. Finance companies also provide a significant share of short- and medium-term credit to businesses. Business investment, both for fixed capital and inventory, is one of the more cyclically sensitive components of GDP. Because of the significant effect monetary policy can have on business investment, in part via the availability of credit, monitoring the sources of funding to businesses is important for the conduct of monetary policy. Currently, there is no other information collection for domestic finance companies in place that supplies the monthly data obtained on the FR 2248.
The FR 2248 replaces a consumer credit report initiated in the 1940s that collected data on consumer lending, sales, and business finance lending. The monthly FR 2248 and the FR 2248A quarterly supplement reports were initiated in 1983. In January 1988, the reports were combined but retained the monthly and quarterly reporting of items. In February 1989, five items were added to capture the increased activity in securitizing financing receivables. In 2002, the survey was modified in three ways. First, the authorized panel size was reduced to eighty finance companies because the number of finance companies responding to the survey had declined because of industry consolidation and attrition. Second, four questions on the breakdown of real estate loans for one- to four-family structures were added to improve flow of funds estimates of such loans. Third, a special addendum section, which may be used if the need arises for timely information on questions of immediate concern to the Board was added. 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 2008, the reporting form was revised to split data item 6, All other assets and accounts and notes receivable, into three separate data items. This revision enhanced the Federal Reserve's estimate of the finance company balance sheet currently published in the Federal Reserve System's Flow of Funds accounts. In addition, the authorized panel size was reduced because the number of finance companies responding to the survey had declined, owing to industry consolidation and attrition.
The panel consists of 70 finance companies selected from the sample of finance companies that respond to the Census of Finance Companies (FR 3033p; OMB No. 7100-0277). Participation is voluntary.
Monthly, as of the last calendar day of the month; some data items are reported only for the quarter-end months.
Aggregate data are published in the Federal Reserve Board's monthly statistical releases Consumer Credit (G.19) and Finance Companies (G.20), in the quarterly statistical release Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States (Z.1), and in the Federal Reserve Bulletin (Tables 1.51, 1.52, and 1.55).