Monetary Statistics

Beginning in March 2015, the Central Bank of Iceland will publish monetary statistics according to new standards. Monetary statistics are based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards for monetary and financial statistics. The standards that have been in use in recent years, published as the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM), were originally issued in 2000 and then revised in 2008. The changes in the new IMF standards are based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008),1 issued in 2009. Changes in SNA 2008 have also been incorporated into other international standards, including the 6th edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6), adopted by the Central Bank in September 2014, and the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA2010), which was adopted formally within the EU and EEA in September 2014.2 The IMF’s updated MFSM is comparable to the SNA 2008 in most respects, although emphasis has been placed in recent years on harmonising the terminology and classification systems used in international standards so as to facilitate comparison of the statistics.
The main changes in the Central Bank’s monetary statistics as a result of the new standards are as follows:

  • Loans purchased at a discount in autumn 2008 are entered at claim value instead of book value, as was done previously. The change is made retroactively; therefore, loans from 2008 are republished according to the new methodology.
  • Classification by economic sector is in accordance with the SNA 2008 and the IMF standards. In addition, the Central Bank has classified financial undertakings in winding-up proceedings separately.
  • There will be shifts between the commercial enterprises and financial sector categories. Finance-related services are now included with the financial sector instead of with commercial enterprises, as was done previously. Furthermore, services rendered to households by non-governmental organisations are placed in a separate sector, whereas they were previously included with commercial enterprises.
  • Holding companies are now included in the financial sector under an item called Captive financial institutions and money lenders.
  •  Data on deposit money banks (DMB) extend back to September 1993. Older data have been reclassified to accord with the current system in an attempt to maximise the consistency of the data over time. During reclassification, errors and mismatches in the data were adjusted as needed. Consequently, the results could differ slightly from those in printed sources from previous years. The difference is negligible, however. Continuous sectoral classification of loans and marketable bonds began in December 1997, and sectoral classification of deposits and equity securities began in October 2003.

A draft version of the standards can be found on the IMF website.3

1. System of National Accounts (SNA 2008), published by the IMF, OECD, World Bank, UN, and European Commission. 
2.  The pertinent Regulation,
3.  Update of the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM) and the Monetary and Financial Statistics Compilation Guide (MFSCG).