BEA – Request for Comments on Proposed Changes to the Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions between United States Financial Services Providers and Foreign Persons (BE-185)

May 26, 2021 – The BEA is proposing two modifications to the existing transaction categories covered by the BE-185 survey and a change to the survey due date, beginning with reporting for first quarter 2022. The proposed modifications to the BE-185 survey would allow BEA to increase the quality and usefulness of BEA’s statistics on trade in financial services.

BEA proposes to add “brokerage services related to debt transactions” as a separate transaction category. The change will result in three categories for brokerage services, rather than the current two categories on the survey. The three categories collected on the survey will be brokerage services related to equity transactions (code 1), brokerage services related to debt transactions (code 1.1), and brokerage services related to other transactions (code 2). In reviewing brokerage transactions reported on the survey over the last several years, BEA has determined that most survey respondents can provide brokerage related to debt securities because this information is readily available in their records.

BEA proposes to break “financial advisory and custody services” into two separate transaction categories. The change will result in two separate transaction categories of financial advisory services (code 7), and financial custody services (code 7.1). In reviewing transactions reported in the combined “financial advisory and custody services” category over the last several years, BEA has determined that these transactions are distinctly different in nature and collecting them in a single transaction category may be confusing to survey respondents. BEA has also determined that most respondents have the ability to report details for these activities separately because this information is readily available in their records. BEA will provide updated instructions to ensure accurate reporting.

BEA also proposes to change the due date of the survey to 30 days after the close of each quarter from 45 days for the three quarters that are not the final fiscal quarter of the year. For the close of the final fiscal quarter of the year, reports would be due 45 days after the close of the quarter instead of 90 days.

BEA estimates there will be a small increase in the total burden for the survey due to the change in transaction detail required, but the average number of burden hours per response will continue to average 10 hours for companies filing country detail. BEA estimates that approximately 100 survey respondents will experience a burden increase of less than 10 percent.

Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2021.

Client Impact:
PROPOSED Reporting changes to form/instructions for reports beginning quarter ending as-of March 31, 2022, including PROPOSED due date change quarterly from 45 to 30 days (90 to 45 days for fiscal year-end)

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