What does the survey comprise?
To describe developments in the investments of institutional investors in a way that is largely in line with the methodology and results of the National Accounts. There are three points of difference:
- due to a different revision strategy the National accounts are with less breaks in series. As of June 2016 the figures from 2008 after revision follow the release and revision policy of the national accounts;
- foreign direct property is categorised in the National accounts as equity and investment fund shares or units;
- the National accounts use a different valuation system for non-financial assets, including direct property.
Institutional investors are units that invest capital that is acquired as a result of their activities. These activities are mainly the insurance of pensions and offering private investors opportunities to invest in selected risk profiles. The population of institutional investors includes pension funds, insurance corporations and non-MMF investment funds. The money market funds are excluded from the investment funds.
The statistical unit is the enterprise. The enterprise is financially independent, meaning that it can have assets and liabilities on its own account.
Date/year survey started
The series Investments starts with figures for 1950, the series Foreign investments with figures for 1980. The series Quarterly figures institutional investors starts with figures for 1996, both in terms of percentage as well as in absolute figures. The series Quarterly figures institutional investors and Foreign investments consist of yearly figures and from 2005 onwards also quarterly figures. The series Excluding shares in investment funds starts with yearly figures for 1998 and with quarterly figures for 2010. The series Balance sheet starts with figures for 1998. The series Changes in Property start with yearly figures for 1999 and with quarterly figures for 2003. The series Investments in property start with yearly figures for 1999 and also has results for 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995. The series pension funds after consolidation starts with yearly figures for 2008.
Quarterly for the series Quarterly figures institutional investors, Foreign investments, Excluding shares in investment funds and Changes in Property, yearly for the other series.
As of June 2016 the figures from 2008 after revision follow the release and revision policy of the national accounts. Figures for the most recent year are preliminary and are published six months after the reporting year. At the same time figures for the year before are adjusted and figures from 2008 revised. The adjustments and revisions are mainly based on adjustments in sources.
Corrections due to errors are always possible, even in figures that have been classified as definitive.
Quarterly figures are published within three months after the reporting quarter. Adjustments in quarterly figures follow the same course as adjustments in yearly figures.
How is the survey conducted?
Data is collected through a combination of sample and integral surveys conducted by the Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), and annual reports. The surveys of DNB consist of yearly and quarterly figures on pension funds, insurance corporations and investment funds that are supervised by DNB. The main part of these data sources is being used by the results of the National accounts, section Financial balance sheet and transactions. 1)
DNB uses questionnaires, mostly electronic. Annual reports are predominantly obtained through the internet, in addition to reports obtained directly from the reporting unit or the Chamber of Commerce.
The main source of data on pension funds and insurance corporations until 2008 is the annual supervisory survey conducted by DNB. From 2008 onwards the quarterly statistic on balance sheets of pension funds and insurance corporations, also from DNB, is the main source. The main source for non-MMF investment funds is the quarterly statistic on balance sheets of investment funds from DNB.
DNB publishes its statistics on its website (www.dnb.nl). The methodology used by DNB is described there.
The sample of the quarterly statistics on balance sheets of pension funds and insurance corporations from DNB represents 90 per cent of the balance sheet total.
The DNB quarterly statistic on balance sheets of investment funds has a sample size of 95 per cent of the balance sheet total.
Checking and correction methods
DNB has first responsibility for the quality of its statistics. Statistics Netherlands corresponds with experts from DNB about remarkable or less plausible results.
The analysis of the sources uses various control mechanisms. Examples of these control mechanisms are the comparison of results with the previous year, the comparison of the totals of assets and liabilities and the comparison of these results with other publication tables.
Quality of the results
Most data sources provide direct input for the results published here. In a few cases estimates must be made.
Another indication of accuracy is the fact that breaks in the series are rare. DNB rarely adopts changes in quarterly surveys on pension funds, insurance corporations and investment funds.
As a consequence of the revision in the National accounts in 2014 all tables on institutional investors have been stopped and replaced by new tables under the same title. The figures in the new tables correspond from 2008 onwards with the national accounts as revised in 2014. The figures up till 2008 in the new tables are the same as those in the tables that have been stopped. Definitions in the tables on institutional investors have been synchronized with the definitions in the table Sector accounts; financial balance sheets and transactions.
As of June 2016 the figures from 2008 after revision follow the release and revision policy of the national accounts. In June 2017 figures for 2016 will be added, and figures from 2008 onwards adjusted and revised.
The time series of the investments of institutional investors contains also breaks in 1980, in 1991 and in 2005. The main cause of these breaks is changes in the supervisory surveys. The results for these years are reported before and after the break, which enables the calculation of the magnitude of the breaks.
The main elements of the quality strategy are strict planning, consultation with supervisor DNB and documentation that describes the analysis process.