Call Reporting Becomes Clearer
Coming this fall: a new, more efficient Internet-based system for submitting and processing quarterly bank Call Report data.
The Sept. 30 launch of the Central Data Repository will mark a revolution in the way that Call Report data is collected, validated, managed and distributed. Through the use of new open data exchange standards (known as Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL), this new innovative system will facilitate faster delivery of accurate Call Report data. All users of the data – financial institutions, the public and banking regulators – will benefit from this improved, timelier flow of financial institution information.
Although the technology changes will be largely transparent to them, reporting institutions should be aware of two key changes: The new process will require banks to complete all edit resolutions when they prepare their Call Reports data, unlike the current practice where some edits are resolved after data is submitted; and banks will need to use the Internet to submit their data and receive notifications from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council agencies.
Starting with the filing of the third quarter 2004 data, institutions will receive edits feedback – through their software as they enter the data – on the validity and quality of their Call Report data. Items that are flagged by the edits will have to be corrected or explained before the data is accepted for transmission. Under the current system, analysts deal with edit exceptions in follow-up calls to the banks. This new approach to edits will improve the efficiency and timeliness of the regulatory reporting process, but institutions will need to begin the Call Reporting process earlier to ensure that their data is submitted on time.
Dialing for Dollars Most banks will continue to use their current Call Report software vendor. The FFIEC agencies have been working closely with the software vendors to prepare for the change and encourage banks to do the same. However, where the current process involves submitting Call Report data to a vendor through a dial-up connection, the new process will allow institutions to submit their data directly to the FFIEC through a secure Internet connection.
The appropriately named “Call Report Modernization” project is a coordinated effort among the federal banking agencies, under the auspices of the FFIEC. The FFIEC has enlisted the help of Unisys Corp. to build the system’s infrastructure and maintain it for a 10-year period.
The FFIEC and Unisys are working with software vendors and a cross-section of banks, through focus groups, to ensure that the new system is implemented smoothly. The project will — for the first time — create a shared database for Call Report data that will facilitate better communication among the FFIEC banking agencies.
The FFIEC is excited about this new venture and looks forward to its successful implementation.
Up-to-date information on this initiative can be found at www.ffiec.gov/find. Banks may also contact their vendors for additional information.