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Federal Reserve begins 2020 Census of Finance Companies and Other Lenders

Oliver Scroop

October 7, 2020

The Federal Reserve Board announced on Tuesday that it will begin the 2020 Census of Finance Companies and Other Lenders. The census is a key part of the Federal Reserve’s effort to paint a complete picture of this important sector of the U.S. economy.

“Your participation is important to help us understand the size and structure of lenders like yours that supply credit or lease financing to U.S. households and businesses,” said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell in a letter to prospective census participants. “The results will contribute to better-informed policy decisions and form the basis of our statistical releases, which have become all the more critical during the pandemic outbreak.”

The assets and liabilities of finance companies have been surveyed by the Federal Reserve at roughly five-year intervals since 1955. The data collected provide a benchmark for the System’s monthly report on the outstanding accounts receivable of finance companies (presented in the Federal Reserve’s Finance Companies statistical release) and provide a comprehensive update on these companies’ sources of funds. This information in turn becomes an important input to the estimates of total consumer credit (presented in the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Credit statistical release) and the Financial Accounts of the United States.

The attached letter from Chair Powell was sent to approximately 26,000 companies urging their participation in the census. Individual responses will be kept confidential. In addition to the Chair’s letter, more information about the census is available at www.federalreserve.gov/financecocensus.

The 2020 Census of Finance Companies and Other Lenders is not related to the 2020 Census of Population and Housing.

For media inquiries, call 202-452-2955.

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