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Summaries of EU Legislation

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European Central Bank economic and monetary data gathering

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European Central Bank economic and monetary data gathering


Regulation (EC) No 2533/98 – collection of statistical information by the European Central Bank


The European Central Bank (ECB) collects a comprehensive range of data on economic and monetary developments in the European Union (EU). It is assisted in this task by the national central banks of the EU countries.


It empowers the ECB to collect statistical information that is necessary to carry out the tasks of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). The ECB’s right to collect statistical information is limited to the reference reporting population*.

It sets out the ECB’s powers to define the statistical reporting requirements of the reference reporting population.

In 2015, the regulation was amended to enable the transmission of confidential statistical information between the ESCB and other authorities of the EU or its countries which are responsible for the supervision of financial institutions, markets, infrastructures or the stability of the financial system. In addition, the ESCB may transmit confidential statistical information to the European Stability Mechanism. However, any transmission of data under the 2015 amendment is limited to what is necessary for the receiving authority or body to perform its tasks.


The ECB seeks to minimise the reporting burden by using existing resources as much as possible. It also takes into account the relevant EU and international statistical standards.

The ECB works closely with the European statistical system (ESS), which comprises the statistical office of the EU (Eurostat) and the national statistical institutes of the EU countries.


When developing, producing and disseminating statistics, the ESCB is governed by the principles of:

  • impartiality (neutral and equally accessible to all users);
  • objectivity (systematic, reliable and unbiased);
  • professional independence (no political interference);
  • cost-effectiveness;
  • statistical confidentiality (respect for confidential information that relates to single statistical units);
  • minimisation of the reporting burden; and
  • high output quality.

EU countries’ obligations

EU countries are responsible for organising themselves in the field of statistics in order to cooperate with the ESCB.

Types of information collected

Data collected cover, in particular:

  • monetary and financial statistics;
  • banknote statistics (e.g. stocks and flows of notes in circulation);
  • payments and payment systems statistics;
  • financial stability statistics;
  • balance of payments statistics (i.e. the euro’s share as a settlement/invoicing currency in international trade);
  • international investment position statistics.

Right of verification

If a reporting agent* in a eurozone country is suspected of infringing its reporting requirements, the ECB and the national central bank can verify the accuracy of the statistical information or carry out its compulsory collection.

The ECB or the national central bank of the country concerned must notify the reporting agent of its decision to check the statistics that they provide or to carry out its compulsory collection. If an agent opposes the verification process, the country in which they are located must give the necessary assistance, including ensuring access to the premises by the ECB or the national central bank. These provisions only apply to eurozone countries.


Reporting agents who fail to comply with their statistical reporting requirements may be subject to fines imposed by the ECB. Penalties range from a daily payment not exceeding €10 000 up to fines of €200 000. The ECB is required to act in accordance with the principles and procedures set out in Regulation (EC) No 2532/98 on the powers of the ECB to impose sanctions.


Statistical information is considered confidential when it is sufficiently granular for reporting agents and any other legal or natural persons or bodies to be identified, either directly (e.g. from their name, address or officially allocated identification code) or indirectly by way of inference.

Reporting agents must be informed of the statistical and administrative uses to which data provided by them may be put. Where relevant, they can obtain information on the legal basis for transmission and on the adopted protection measures.

The ESCB must use confidential statistical information exclusively for carrying out its tasks except:

  • where the reporting agent, or the other person or body which can be identified, has explicitly given their consent to the use of the confidential statistical information for other purposes;
  • for the transmission of confidential statistical information to other ESS members;
  • when granting scientific research bodies access to confidential statistical information which does not allow direct identification (this access must be with the prior explicit consent of the authority which provided the information);
  • as regards the ECB and the national central banks, where the confidential statistical information is used in the field of prudential supervision;
  • as regards the national central banks, for the exercise of functions other than those specified in the protocol on the statute of the ESCB and of the ECB.

The ECB, the national central banks and EU countries must take all the necessary measures to ensure the protection of confidential statistical information.


* Reference reporting population: this mainly comprises central banks, other financial institutions in EU countries (except insurance companies and pension funds), post office giro institutions* and legal and natural persons residing in a eurozone country and who have carried out cross-border transactions or issued securities* or electronic money*. All of these may be reporting agents under the ECB’s statistical reporting requirements.

* Reporting agents: under the ECB’s reporting requirements, any or all of this reference reporting population can be reporting agents (i.e. they are required to report) depending on the circumstances.

* Post office giro institutions: these belong to the ‘non-financial corporations’ sector and, in addition to providing postal services, receive deposits from non-monetary financial institutions euro area residents with a view to providing money transfer services for their depositors.

* Securities: financial instruments, such as companies’ shares and government bonds, usually issued to raise funds for the issuer.

* Electronic money: money that is in the banking system but does not exist in a physical form. Only a fraction of the total money supply consists of notes and coins.


Council Regulation (EC) No 2533/98 of 23 November 1998 concerning the collection of statistical information by the European Central Bank (OJ L 318 of 27.11.1998, pp. 8-19)


Regulation (EU) No 1071/2013 of the European Central Bank of 24 September 2013 concerning the balance sheet of the monetary financial institutions sector (recast) (ECB/2013/33) (OJ L 297, 7.11.2013, pp. 1-50)

Regulation (EU) No 1072/2013 of the European Central Bank of 24 September 2013 concerning statistics on interest rates applied by monetary financial institutions (recast) (ECB/2013/34) (OJ L 297, 7.11.2013, pp. 51-72)

Regulation (EU) No 1073/2013 of the European Central Bank of 18 October 2013 concerning statistics on the assets and liabilities of investment funds (recast) (ECB/2013/38) (OJ L 297, 7.11.2013, pp. 73-93)

Regulation (EU) No 1074/2013 of the European Central Bank of 18 October 2013 on statistical reporting requirements for post office giro institutions that receive deposits from non-monetary financial institution euro area residents (recast) (ECB/2013/39) (OJ L 297, 7.11.2013, pp. 94-106)

Regulation (EU) No 1075/2013 of the European Central Bank of 18 October 2013 concerning statistics on the assets and liabilities of financial vehicle corporations engaged in securitisation transactions (recast) (ECB/2013/40) (OJ L 297, 7.11.2013, pp. 107-121)

last update 17.08.2015