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Proposed Rule

International Services Surveys: BE-85, Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

This document sets forth a proposed rule to institute a new survey, BE-85, Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons, to be conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Department of Commerce.

The proposed survey is mandatory and will be conducted under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act and under Section 5408 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. The first survey conducted under this proposed rule will cover transactions in the first quarter of 2004. Data from the proposed BE-85 survey are needed to monitor Start Printed Page 51940trade in financial services, analyze its impact on the U.S. and foreign economies, compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, support U.S. commercial policy on financial services, conduct trade promotion, improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities, and for other Government uses.

The proposed survey will cover the same financial services presently covered by the BE-82, Annual Survey of Financial Service Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons, which the proposed quarterly survey would replace, following a final annual data collection for 2003.

DATES:

Comments on this proposed rule will receive consideration if submitted in writing on or before October 28, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to the Office of the Chief, International Investment Division (BE-50), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington DC 20230. Because of slow mail, and to assure that comments are received in a timely manner, please consider using one of the following delivery methods: (1) Fax to (202) 606-5318, (2) deliver by courier to U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, BE-50, Shipping and Receiving Section M100, 1441 L Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005, or (3) e-mail to Obie.Whichard@bea.gov. Comments will be available for public inspection in room 7006, 1441 L Street, NW., between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Obie G. Whichard, Assistant Chief, International Investment Division (BE-50), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; or via the Internet at Obie.Whichard@bea.gov (Telephone (202) 606-9890).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This proposed rule would amend 15 CFR 801.9 to set forth the reporting requirements for the BE-85, Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between Financial Services Providers and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Department of Commerce, will conduct the survey under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101-3108), and under Section 5408 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 4908). Section 4(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 3103(a)) provides that the President shall, to the extent he deems necessary and feasible, conduct a regular data collection program to secure current information related to international investment and trade in services and publish for the use of the general public and United States Government agencies periodic, regular, and comprehensive statistical information collected pursuant to this subsection. In section 3 of Executive Order 11961, as amended by Executive Order 12518, the President delegated authority granted under the Act as concerns international trade in services to the Secretary of Commerce, who has redelegated that authority to BEA.

The major purposes of the survey are to monitor trade in financial services, analyze its impact on the U.S. and foreign economies, compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, support U.S. commercial policy on financial services, conduct trade promotion, and improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities.

As proposed, BEA will conduct the BE-85 survey on a quarterly basis beginning with the first quarter of 2004. BEA will send the survey to potential respondents in March of 2004, responses will be due by May 15, 2004. The survey will update the data provided on the universe of financial services transactions between U.S. financial services providers and unaffiliated foreign persons. Reporting is required from U.S. financial services providers whose sales of covered services to unaffiliated foreign persons exceeded $20 million for the previous fiscal year or that expect such sales to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year, or whose purchases of covered services from unaffiliated foreign persons exceeded $15 million for the previous fiscal year or that expect such purchases to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year. Financial services providers meeting any of these criteria must supply data on the amount of their sales or purchases for each covered type of service, disaggregated by country. U.S. financial services providers that do not meet the mandatory reporting requirements are requested to provide voluntary estimates of their total sales or purchases of each type of financial service.

Executive Order 12866

This proposed rule is not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.

Executive Order 13132

This proposed rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in E.O. 13132.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed rule contains a collection of information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review under the PRA.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget Control Number.

The BE-85 survey, as proposed, is expected to result in the filing of reports containing mandatory data from about 55 respondents on a quarterly basis, or 220 responses annually. The average burden for completing the BE-85 is estimated to be 10 hours. Thus, the total respondent burden of the survey is estimated at 2,200 hours (220 responses times 10 hours average burden). The actual burden will vary from reporter to reporter, depending upon the number and variety of their financial services transactions and the ease of assembling the data. Thus, for each quarter it may range from 4 hours for a reporter that has a small number and variety of transactions and easily accessible data to 100 hours for a very large reporter that engages in a large number and variety of financial services transactions and has difficulty in locating and assembling the required data. This estimate includes time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments should be addressed to: Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; or faxed (202-395-7245) or e-mailed (pbugg@omb.eop.gov) to the Office of Management and Budget, O.I.R.A., (Attention PRA Desk Officer for BEA). Start Printed Page 51941

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, under provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), that this proposed rulemaking, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The information collection excludes most small businesses from mandatory reporting. Companies that engage in international financial services transactions tend to be quite large. In addition, the reporting threshold for this survey is set at a level that will exempt most small businesses from reporting. The proposed BE-85 quarterly survey will be required from U.S. financial services providers whose sales of covered services to unaffiliated foreign persons exceeded $20 million for the previous fiscal year or that expect such sales to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year, or whose purchases of covered services from unaffiliated foreign persons exceeded $15 million for the previous fiscal year or that expect such purchases to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year. Thus, the exemption level will exclude most small businesses from mandatory coverage. Of those smaller businesses that must report, most will tend to have specialized operations and activities, so they will likely report only one type of transaction; therefore, the burden on them should be small.

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List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 801

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Rosemary D. Marcuss,

Deputy Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble, BEA proposes to amend 15 CFR Part 801, as follows:

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PART 801—SURVEY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN SERVICES BETWEEN U.S. AND FOREIGN PERSONS

1. The authority citation for 15 CFR Part 801 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 15 U.S.C. 4908; 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108; E.O. 11961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 86 as amended by E.O. 12013, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 147, E.O. 12318, 3 CFR, 1981 Comp., p. 173, and E.O. 12518 3 CFR, 1985 Comp., p. 348.

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2. Section 801.9 is amended by adding new paragraph (c)(4) to read as follows:

Reports required.

(c) Quarterly surveys. * * *

(4) BE-85, Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons:

(i) A BE-85, Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons, will be conducted covering the first quarter of the 2004 calendar year and every quarter thereafter.

(A) Who must report—(1) Mandatory reporting. Reports are required from each U.S. person who is a financial services provider or intermediary, or whose consolidated U.S. enterprise includes a separately organized subsidiary or part that is a financial services provider or intermediary, and that had sales of covered services to unaffiliated foreign persons that exceeded $20 million for the previous fiscal year or expects sales to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year, or had purchases of covered services from unaffiliated foreign persons that exceeded $15 million for the previous fiscal year or expects purchases to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year. These thresholds should be applied to financial services transactions with unaffiliated foreign persons by all parts of the consolidated U.S. enterprise combined that are financial services providers or intermediaries. Because the thresholds are applied separately to sales and purchases, the mandatory reporting requirement may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both sales and purchases.

(i) The determination of whether a U.S. financial services provider or intermediary is subject to this mandatary reporting requirement may be based on the judgement of knowledgeable persons in a company who can identify reportable transactions on a recall basis, with a reasonable degree of certainty, without conducting a detailed manual records search.

(ii) Reporters who file pursuant to this mandatory reporting requirement must provide data on total sales and/or purchases of each of the covered types of financial services transactions and must disaggregate the totals by country.

(2) Voluntary reporting. If a financial services provider or intermediary, or all of a firm's subsidiaries or parts combined that are financial services providers or intermediaries, had covered sales of $20 million or less, or covered purchases of $15 million or less during the previous fiscal year, and if covered sales or purchases are not expected to exceed these amounts in the current fiscal year, a person is requested to provide an estimate of the total for each type of service for the most recent quarter. Provision of this information is voluntary. The estimates may be based on the reasoned judgement of the reporting entity. Because these thresholds apply separately to sales and purchases, voluntary reporting may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both.

(B) BE-85 definition of financial services provider. The definition of financial services provider used for this survey is identical in coverage to Sector 52—Finance and Insurance—of the North American Industry Classification System, United States, 2002. For example, companies and/or subsidiaries and other separable parts of companies in the following industries are defined as financial services providers: Depository credit intermediation and related activities (including commercial banking, holding companies, savings institutions, check cashing, and debit card issuing); nondepository credit intermediation (including credit card issuing, sales financing, and consumer lending); securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities (including security and commodity futures brokers, dealers, exchanges, traders, underwriters, investment bankers, and providers of securities custody services); insurance carriers and related activities (including agents, brokers, and services providers); investment advisors and managers and funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles (including mutual funds, pension funds, real estate investment trusts, investors, stock quotation services, etc.).

(C) Covered types of services. The BE-85 survey covers the following types of financial services transactions (purchases and/or sales) between U.S. financial services providers and unaffiliated foreign persons: Brokerage services, including foreign exchange brokerage services; underwriting and private placement services; financial management services; credit-related services, except credit card services; credit card services; financial advisory and custody services; security lending services; electronic funds transfers; and other financial services.

(ii) [Reserved]

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[FR Doc. 03-22140 Filed 8-28-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-06-P