Resource Center

Description of the Treasury International Capital (TIC) system

The Treasury International Capital (TIC) reporting system is the U.S. government's source of data on capital flows into and out of the United States, excluding direct investment, and the resulting levels of cross-border claims and liabilities. The data is used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the computation of the U.S. Balance of Payments accounts and the U.S. International Investment Position. Information is collected from commercial banks and other depository institutions, bank holding companies, securities brokers and dealers, custodians of securities, and nonbanking enterprises in the United States, including the U.S. branches, agencies and subsidiaries of foreign-based banks and business enterprises. The TIC capital movement reports are filed directly with Federal Reserve Banks, who act as fiscal agents for the Treasury in this function. Beginning in late 1998, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors also performs services on behalf of the Treasury in support of this data collection system. (Data on direct investment are collected separately by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce.)

The TIC website, with its current data and extensive historical time series, is an extension of the Capital Movements section of the quarterly Treasury Bulletin, in which recent and limited historical data are published on: U.S. banking liabilities to, and claims on, foreigners; on U.S. nonbanking claims and liabilities vis-à-vis foreigners; on holdings and transactions in U.S. derivatives contracts with foreigners; and on U.S. transactions with foreigners in long-term securities.

Note on country data -- the geographical detail may not always indicate the ultimate foreign ownership of U.S. assets, or the ultimate obligors of U.S. claims.
In general, information on U.S. transactions with foreigners in long-term securities is reported opposite the country in which the immediate foreign transactor is located. The foreign party to a cross-border securities transaction may be an end-investor or issuer of securities, or it may be an intermediary. So it is important to keep in mind that the country breakdown does not necessarily indicate the country of beneficial owner or issuer, nor does it indicate the currency in which securities are denominated. Similarly, information on U.S. cross-border banking liabilities and claims is reported opposite the country or geographical area where the foreigner is located, as shown on the records of reporting institutions. Since reporting institutions are not required to go beyond addresses shown on their records, they may not be aware of the actual country of domicile of the ultimate beneficiary.

For more information about the Treasury International Capital reporting system, please consult the Introduction to the Capital Movements section in any issue of the Treasury Bulletin. Alternatively, you may e-mail or telephone as follows:
Treasury, Dwight Wolkow, Tel. 202-622-1276
Federal Reserve Board, Tel. 202-452-3476


Additional Background on the TIC System:

1. This is a summary of the views of TIC data users who responded to a survey in 2000-2001.

 

2. Brief descriptions of the various TIC data collections:

Data are collected monthly on U.S. international securities transactions; monthly and quarterly on cross-border positions of banks in the U.S.; quarterly on U.S. nonbanks' positions with unaffiliated foreigners; and quarterly on U.S. derivatives contracts with foreigners. (Data on direct investment are collected separately by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce.) These data are published in hard copy and on-line in various formats by the Treasury Department, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The benchmark surveys and related annual surveys collect data on the levels of US Portfolio Holdings of Foreign Securities and of Foreign Portfolio Holdings of US Securities, excluding direct investment. The older benchmark surveys were conducted at 3 to 5 year intervals and included only long-term securities (securities with original maturities of longer than one year). Beginning in June 2002, these surveys are supplemented by annual surveys, and both surveys include short-term securities. The results of these surveys have been published by the Treasury Department and used by BEA in their estimates of the US international investment position.

Last Updated: 11/2/2011 3:18 PM