The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) oversees a key survey of U.S. financial services transactions between U.S. providers and foreign persons. The survey imposes a reporting requirement on many U.S. financial service providers and intermediaries, and the survey response is due by October 1, 2015. BEA conducts this BE-180 Benchmark Survey of financial services transactions between U.S. financial services providers and foreign persons every five years, and U.S. persons within its scope must report information on their operations. On May 20, 2015, BEA published a final rule that requires all entities subject to the reporting requirement to file responses, regardless of whether they are individually contacted by BEA. Given the broad scope of the potential respondent universe, U.S. financial services providers should carefully evaluate whether they may be required to file responses, even if they have not previously responded to BEA surveys.

The BE-180 Survey and Reporting Requirements

The BE-180 survey gathers comprehensive information on transactions between U.S. financial service providers and foreign persons in order to evaluate the magnitude and impact of U.S. international financial services transactions. Responses are required from any U.S. financial services provider or intermediary that has engaged in sales to or purchases from foreign persons exceeding $3 million during the 2014 fiscal year. The $3 million threshold applies separately to sales and purchases; mandatory reporting requirements may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both sales and purchases.

Financial services providers include a range of financial institutions, and also include holding companies that own, influence, or engage in management decisions for such providers. The determination of whether a financial services provider or entity is subject to the BE-180 survey may be based on the judgment of knowledgeable persons in the company.

U.S. reporters must submit information on the sales or purchases of the following ten types of financial services:

  1. Brokerage services related to equity transactions;
  2. Other brokerage services;
  3. Underwriting and private placement services;
  4. Financial management services;
  5. Credit-related services, except credit card services;
  6. Credit card services;
  7. Financial advisory and custody services;
  8. Securities lending services;
  9. Electronic funds transfer services; and
  10. Other financial services.

The survey form requires reporting total annual sales to and purchases from foreign persons on an aggregated basis per foreign country for each type of financial service. The report covers the company’s 2014 fiscal year, and only one form is required per consolidated U.S. entity.

Conclusion

The scope of the BE-180 survey is quite broad and may require responses from many entities that have not previously submitted BEA survey responses. In fact, this is the first time that BEA has made the BE- 180 survey mandatory for all U.S. financial service providers that fall within its scope. Because the BE- 180 forms require compilation of a significant amount of data, companies should begin preparing BE-180 survey responses well in advance of the deadlines. BEA will accept extension requests filed through the October 1, 2015 due date to ensure adequate time to complete the survey.