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The World Bank
Financial Sector Operations and Policy

Financial Sector Development Indicators
Comprehensive assessment through enhanced information capacity

Financial Sector Development Indicators
Comprehensive assessment through enhanced information capacity


The financial sector is a crucial sector of any economy, affecting its business environment, investment,economic prospects and social dimensions, including poverty. Vulnerabilities in financial sectors often result in financial crises, economic slowdowns, and fiscal costs. Financial sectors are thus important to monitor and compare across economies and over time. Data typically available and analyses thereof, however, lack the robustness needed to comprehensively and succinctly assess countries'financial sector development. Information is scattered, disparate, often limited to measuring only the size of the financial system, not allowing other dimensions of financial sector to be easily compared over time or across countries. Furthermore, in an increasingly integrated world, where shocks transmit swiftly across boundaries, the need for comprehensive financial risk assessment data has become allthe more imperative.

Motivation for the project Compensate for existing deficiencies
The collection of statistics and assessments of financial sectors and supporting institutional infrastructure are underway in many forms and by many international and national institutions. However, these efforts are still deficient in four important aspects: • Lack of benchmarking. The data do not have theexplicit objective of benchmarking countries in the multiple dimensions of financial sector development, rather they are mostly mere data collection exercises in a one or few, selected dimensions. • Lack of a single focal point. While many data collection and analyses efforts are underway, there is not a single focal point, at least for a large cross-section of countries. Rather, data are scatteredand often not easily accessible, and lack comparability. • Lack of comprehensive information. There are important dimensions for which data are still missing or for which there is no systematic monitoring of them. They include access to financial services, stability and aspects such as efficiency, competitiveness, costs, as well as measures of the supporting institutional environment. • Lack ofproper definitions. Heterogeneous definitions, sources and caveats not well defined make it difficult to fully and correctly utilize existing data sources.



Financial Sector Development Indicators
Comprehensive assessment through enhanced information capacity

The Project

The foundation A “clearing-house” with analytically robust measures and new data
The Financial SectorDevelopment Indicators (FSDI) project aims to be the first port of call for statistics and analytical tools for assessing financial sector. The one-stop-shop for existing information would make FSDI serve as the “clearing-house” for financial sector statistics. And with new data collected through surveys, FSDI would provide valuable information for enhanced assessment and understanding of financialsector development. This aim requires that the indicators, and the data used to develop them, are grounded in robustly researched and empirically relevant concepts, using reliable sources of information and demonstrated statistical techniques, drawing upon the extensive experience of the financial sector experts. The data effort takes stock of existing information, reviewing its quality, coverageand frequency using robust selection criteria. This includes synthesizing information already being collected by international and national organizations (such as BIS, CGAP, IMF, OECD, UNDP etc.). Information from various existing data sources (including among others Bankscope, Bloomberg, Dealogic, Worldscope etc.) has been integrated and harmonized. Since cross-country data on outreach, breadth,...
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