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Rationale

The main purpose of classifying financial assets and liabilities is to provide consistent and relevant statistics that support economic analysis and macroeconomic management for New Zealand. As these classes have economic-based meanings, their definitions can vary from accounting and taxation definitions.  Financial assets and liabilities will respond differently to fiscal and monetary policy depending on their type, and under various economic conditions. Financial asset and liability statistics are useful for assessing:

  • liquidity and financial soundness of sectors
  • exposure to financial risks
  • sensitivity to monetary and fiscal policy
  • leverage within the economy or institutional sectors
  • the composition of a sector’s assets and liabilities
  • claims on other sectors, including the rest of the world.

The Statistical Classification of Financial Assets and Liabilities 2013 (SCFAL), which underpins this statistical standard, is largely based on the classification of financial assets and liabilities in the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA). Therefore the concepts and definitions within this standard also align closely with the 2008 SNA manual. It provides a standard system for classifying the financial assets and liabilities of all institutional units within the economy. Because of the symmetry of financial assets and liabilities, the same classification is used for both assets and liabilities.

Classification

The Statistical Classification of Financial Assets and Liabilities 2013 is a three-level hierarchical classification. Level 1 has 8 categories, level 2 has 20 categories, and level 3 has 24 categories.

Classification Statistical Classification of Financial Assets and Liabilities 2013
Abbreviation SCFAL
Version V1.0
Effective date 18 December 2013
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