Skip to content

The Pink Book 2013, Part 2: Capital Account, Financial Account and International Investment Position This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 31 July 2013 (Latest) Next edition: 31 October 2014 Download PDF

An introduction to the United Kingdom balance of payments

The balance of payments is one of the UK’s key economic statistical series. It measures the economic transactions between UK residents and the rest of the world. It also draws a series of balances between inward and outward transactions, provides a net flow of transactions between UK residents and the rest of the world and reports how that flow is funded. Economic transactions include:

  • exports and imports of goods, such as oil, agricultural products, other raw materials, machinery and transport equipment, computers, white goods and clothing,

  • exports and imports of services such as international transport, travel, financial and business services,

  • income flows, such as dividends and interest earned by foreigners on investments in the UK and by UK residents investing abroad,

  • financial flows, such as direct investment, investment in shares, debt securities, loans and deposits, and

  • transfers, which are offsetting entries to any one-sided transactions listed above, such as foreign aid and funds brought by migrants to the UK.

Closely related to the balance of payments is the international investment position series of statistics. The international investment position measures the levels of financial investment with the rest of the world, inward and outward.

The full version of the introduction to the United Kingdom balance of payments provides an overview of the concepts and coverage of the UK Balance of Payments.

A glossary of terms used in the UK balance of payments is available on the National Statistics website.

More detailed methodological notes for the UK balance of payments are also available on the website.

Chapter 6: Capital account

Summary

The capital account includes capital transfers and the net acquisition or disposal of non-produced, non-financial assets. The capital account has remained in surplus since 1982. For 2012 the surplus was £3.8 billion, down £0.2 billion from a record high surplus of £4.0 billion in 2011.

Figure 6.1: Capital account

Figure 6.1: Capital account

Download chart

The reference table in relation to Chapter 6 is available to download. (75 Kb Excel sheet)  

Chapter 7: Financial account

Summary

The financial account covers transactions which result in a change of ownership of financial assets and liabilities between UK residents and non-residents, for example, the acquisitions and disposals of foreign shares by UK residents.

Investment abroad and into the UK both increased dramatically from the mid-1990s, reflecting the increased globalisation of the world economy. Between 2000 and 2007, other investment dominated cross-border investment, primarily banking activity. In 2008 other investment, both abroad and in the UK, recorded net disinvestment as the global financial crisis deepened, leading to a reduction in loans internationally and net withdrawals of cross-border deposits. In 2009 this pattern of disinvestment continued, albeit by reduced amounts. In 2010 other investment, both abroad and in the UK, switched back to net investment, which continued in 2011. In 2012 other investment abroad switched to disinvestment, while foreign investment in the UK continued to record net investment, although at a much reduced level. In every year since 1998, the UK has borrowed from abroad to finance its continuing current account deficit. This has resulted in inward investment (UK liabilities) exceeding outward investment (UK assets).

From 1990 to 2004, direct investment showed net outflows from the UK: that is, UK direct investment abroad exceeded direct investment into the UK. In 2005 direct investment switched to net inward investment. Since then, the net direction of direct investment has switched three times, most recently to net outward investment in 2011.

Figure 7.1: Financial account

Figure 7.1: Financial account

Download chart

From 1989 to 1998, portfolio investment recorded net investment abroad in every year except for 1994. However, since 1999 the pattern has been for more frequent positions of net inward than net outward portfolio investment. The reasons for these recent periods of net inward investment are varied. In 1999 and 2000 high investment in UK equity resulted from substantial UK direct investment acquisitions in foreign telecom and pharmaceutical companies, which were funded by the issue of UK shares to foreign shareholders; this is recorded as portfolio investment in the UK. In 2006 and 2007, due to the UK’s relatively high interest rate, the attractiveness of UK debt securities to foreign investors led to net inward portfolio investment in the UK. In 2008 this position was maintained as the acceleration of the global financial crisis drove up demand for less risky long-term debt securities, even though interest rates had dropped considerably in the UK, while UK equity offered greater value for money to international investors as sterling depreciated. From 1981 to 2010, portfolio investment in the UK showed net investment in every year. However, in 2011 this switched to net disinvestment, resulting in the overall balance of portfolio investment switching to show net investment abroad, and this increased substantially in 2012.

Figure 7.2: UK investment abroad

Figure 7.2: UK investment abroad

Download chart

Other investment is the largest and most volatile form of investment. The amounts recorded in the gross flows of loans and deposits are as much a consequence of how the transaction is carried out between resident and non-resident banks, as overall market conditions. However, in 2008 and 2009 the considerable deterioration of other investment, both abroad and in the UK, was a response to the global financial crisis which led to a loss of confidence, deposits being repatriated, and credit markets tightened. In 2010 and 2011, other investment showed a return to net investment both in the UK and abroad, though at a lower level than before the global financial crisis began. However, in 2012 other investment abroad switched to net disinvestment, while other investment in the UK recorded a much reduced level of net investment.

Figure 7.3: Foreign investment in the UK

Figure 7.3: Foreign investment in the UK

Download chart

The financial account in 2012 recorded a net inflow of £48.2 billion compared with a net inflow of £11.5 billion in 2011. The net inflow was a result of disinvestment abroad being higher than disinvestment in the UK.  Investment abroad switched from investment of £186.8 billion in 2011 to disinvestment of £75.2 billion in 2012. The net disinvestment abroad (outflow) in 2012 was mainly due to other investment. Investment in the UK also switched to disinvestment in 2012, recording net disinvestment of £27.0 billion following net investment of £198.3 billion in 2011. The switch to net disinvestment in the UK in 2012 was due to an increase in net disinvestment (outflow) in portfolio investment and a reduction in other investment in the UK.

Direct investment

Outward direct investment initially peaked at £155.6 billion in 2000, reflecting booming merger and acquisition activity. The largest outward acquisitions were the investment in Mannesmann AG by Vodafone Airtouch for a reported £100 billion and the purchase of Atlantic Richfield Company by BP Amoco Plc for a reported £18 billion. Overall outward direct investment then declined to £35.0 billion in 2002 before recovering to a record level in 2007 of £162.6 billion. As a result of the global economic downturn, direct investment abroad decreased, falling to £25.2 billion in 2009. This was due to lower investment in equity capital, lower reinvested earnings, and lower other capital transactions. In 2011, outward direct investment increased to £66.6 billion in 2011, due to net acquisition of equity capital of £37.4 billion together with reinvested earnings of £32.3 billion.  However in 2012, outward direct investment fell to £48.3 billion due to a reduction in investment in equity capital to £9.3 billion and a decrease in reinvested earnings to £29.2 billion, partially offset by a switch from disinvestment to investment in other capital.

Inward direct investment showed a pattern similar to outward investment with direct investment in the UK initially peaking in 2000, with investment of £80.6 billion, followed by lower levels of investment due to the slowdown in global merger and acquisition activity. Inward direct investment fell to £16.8 billion in 2002 and 2003, after which there was a considerable increase in the amount of inward acquisitions, including the purchase of Abbey National by Banco Santander in 2004, the Shell restructuring in 2005, and the purchase of Alliance Boots Plc by AB Acquisitions Ltd in 2007. The latter was one of a number of inward acquisitions behind the record level of inward direct investment in 2007 of £100.0 billion. Investment in the UK fell to £48.4 billion in 2008, half the amount in the previous year. It then fell further in 2011 to £31.9 billion before rising slightly to £39.4 billion in 2012.

Figure 7.4: Direct investment

Figure 7.4: Direct investment

Download chart

Portfolio investment

In 2012, there was an increase in net outflow of portfolio investment from the UK, due to the combination of increased net investment abroad and increased net disinvestment in the UK. Portfolio investment abroad showed net investment in every year from 1995 to 2007, peaking at £151.0 billion in 2005. In 2008 however, portfolio investment abroad showed net disinvestment of £123.2 billion as the global financial crisis deepened. The disinvestment was almost equally shared between equities and debt securities. Recent history shows that net disposals of foreign equity securities occurred in years coinciding with financial shocks: the UK’s exit from the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992, the South-East Asia crisis in 1997, and the collapse in equity markets in 2002. The net disinvestment in equity securities and in debt securities in 2008 were both the highest on record. However, this was followed by record net investment abroad of £164.7 billion in 2009, reflecting record net investment in debt securities. Portfolio investment abroad then decreased over the next two years, before increasing in 2012 to £118.8 billion, due to a switch from disinvestment to investment in equity securities, and an increase in investment in debt securities.

Portfolio investment in the UK showed net investment in every year from when records began in 1981 until 2011, when it switched to show net disinvestment. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the majority of inward investment was in bonds and notes. This switched to UK-issued equity in the late 1990s which was the counterpart to the outward direct investment occurring then. From 2002 to 2010 there was strong net investment in UK debt securities. Initially, the attractiveness of UK debt to foreign investors may have reflected higher interest rates in the UK compared with other major economies, and a switch from dollar to sterling-issued debt due to the fall in the value of the dollar between 2001 and 2007. Portfolio investment in the UK was £211.0 billion in 2009, the highest since records began in 1981. In 2008 the exchange rates with the dollar, euro, and yen declined rapidly, as did interest rates in the UK, yet portfolio investment in the UK remained buoyant.

In 2012, portfolio investment in the UK recorded an increase in net disinvestment to £92.5 billion, compared with net disinvestment of £19.9 billion in 2011, due to disinvestment in equity securities and debt securities. In 2010 there had been net disinvestment of £55.9 billion in money market instruments issued by UK institutions, but this had been outweighed by net investment of £157.6 billion in UK bonds and notes. However, in 2011 the net disinvestment in money market instruments issued by UK institutions increased to a record £70.7 billion and the net investment in UK bonds and notes dropped to £61.1 billion, the lowest since 2002, resulting in total net disinvestment in debt securities of £19.9 billion in 2011. In 2012, disinvestment in money market instruments decreased to £2.2 billion, and investment in bonds and notes switched to disinvestment of £64.0 billion in 2012, resulting in an increase in disinvestment in debt securities to £66.2 billion in 2012. Equity securities recorded an increase in net disinvestment from disinvestment of £10.3 billion in 2011 to disinvestment of £26.3 billion in 2012.

Figure 7.5: Portfolio investment

Figure 7.5: Portfolio investment

Download chart

Other investment

Between 1995 and 2007 other investment showed net investment both abroad and in the UK. Loans and deposits by UK monetary financial institutions constitute the major component of other investment abroad. Loans and deposits by UK monetary financial institutions are carried out predominantly in foreign currency so will be partly influenced by relative exchange rates and interest rates as well as the global financial conditions generally. In 2008, the tightening of credit was due to the financial crisis, other investment abroad showed record net disinvestment of £645.8 billion, the first net disinvestment since 1991. In 2009 the disinvestment abroad continued but decreased to £358.7 billion. In 2010 other investment switched back to net investment of £240.0 billion as UK residents made net deposits with banks abroad, having made net withdrawals of such deposits in the previous two years. This net investment continued in 2011 but fell to £105.1 billion, as there were lower net deposits with banks abroad, before switching to net disinvestment of £223.1 billion in 2012.

Other investment in the UK showed net investment of £26.2 billion in 2012, following net investment of £186.2 billion in 2011. The decrease in investment reflects a switch from investment to disinvestment in deposits from abroad with UK residents.

Figure 7.6: Other investment

Figure 7.6: Other investment

Download chart

Sectoral breakdown of the financial account

In 2012, UK monetary financial institutions reported net outward investment of £11.1 billion, a switch from net inward investment of £13.1 billion in 2011. The net outward investment was a result of a switch from investment to disinvestment in UK monetary financial institutions from abroad which was partly offset by an increase in disinvestment by UK monetary financial institutions abroad.

Central government showed net inward investment of £12.9 billion in 2012, following net inward investment of £35.6 billion in 2011; in both years this was primarily net inward portfolio investment, mainly investment in UK government gilts.

Other UK sectors showed a switch to net inward investment of £44.8 billion, following net outward investment of £37.6 billion in 2011, due primarily to investment abroad falling by more than investment in the UK.

The reference tables in relation to Chapter 7 are available to download (259.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Chapter 8: International investment position

Summary

The international investment position is the balance sheet of the stock of external assets and liabilities.

Since records began in 1966 through to 1994, UK assets exceeded UK liabilities (known as a UK net asset position) in all but one year. The UK’s net asset position peaked in 1986 at £86.4 billion. Since 1995 the UK has recorded a net liability position in all but two years. In 2008 the UK recorded a net asset position of £75.7 billion, partially due to exchange rate effects. The fall in the value of sterling against other major currencies increased the equivalent pound sterling value of those UK assets and liabilities that are denominated in foreign currencies. Since a higher proportion of UK assets than UK liabilities are denominated in foreign currencies, the total value of UK assets held increased by more than the total value of UK liabilities. Then, in 2009, the UK recorded a net liability position of £184.8 billion, partially as a result of sterling rallying against the major currencies. In 2010, the net liability position narrowed to £72.3 billion, and a net asset position of £10.0 billion was recorded at the end of 2011, before the UK returned to a net liability position of £141.6 billion at the end of 2012.

The value of UK assets and liabilities grew rapidly between 1996 and 2001, and over this period they broadly doubled. This period corresponded with a surge in cross-border investment, much of it associated with merger and acquisition activity. In 2002 the level of assets and liabilities fell slightly as, although there was continued inward and outward investment, these flows were more than offset by revaluation changes resulting from falls in the value of global equity markets. From 2003 the level of both UK external assets and liabilities increased strongly again, due to the combination of a rise in cross-border investment, movements in equity prices, and exchange rate effects. By 2008 external assets and liabilities were treble the levels seen in 2003. In 2009 both assets and liabilities decreased. This was due to a combination of a sharp drop in financial derivatives assets and liabilities, disinvestments over the period, and the appreciation of sterling, which has the effect of reducing UK assets and liabilities valued in foreign currency. In 2010 and 2011, both assets and liabilities rose, largely due to increases in financial derivatives assets and liabilities, which in 2010 were mainly due to the incorporation for the first time of data for the financial derivatives assets and liabilities of UK securities dealers. In 2012, both assets and liabilities fell due to a reduction in financial derivative assets and other investment abroad.

Figure 8.1: International investment position

Figure 8.1: International investment position

Download chart

Over half of all UK assets and UK liabilities at the end of 2012 were attributed to UK monetary financial institutions. UK monetary financial institutions’ liabilities have consistently exceeded their assets since records began in 1987; their net liability position reached a record £274.8 billion in 2007, but then dropped to reach £118.7 billion at the end of 2012.

Central government liabilities exceeded their assets in every year from 1992, due to non-residents’ holdings of British government stocks. Central government liability holdings have increased since 2002, resulting in central government having a net liability position of a record £350.9 billion at the end of 2012.

Other sectors’ (private sector excluding monetary financial institutions) assets have historically exceeded liabilities, although from 1998 to 2001, they recorded a net liability position. In 2012 the net asset position of other sectors was £331.9 billion, down from a record £467.5 billion in 2011.

UK assets include reserve assets held by central government. Reserves are mainly held in the form of foreign exchange – in particular bonds and notes. Reserve assets in 2012 accounted for less than 1% of total UK assets, down from 8% in 1977.

UK assets

Financial derivatives of UK banks are included in the main aggregates of the international investment position from 2004, at which time they accounted for 15% of total assets. The financial derivatives of UK securities dealers are included from 2010, at which time they accounted for 7% of total assets. Total financial derivatives accounted for 30% of total assets in 2012.

As a proportion of total UK assets, direct investment abroad remained fairly constant through much of the 1980s and 1990s, at around 12 to 14%. In 2000 to 2003 the proportion increased to around 20%, reflecting the high level of merger and acquisition activity by UK companies in those years. This proportion has since declined to 11% in 2012, partially as a result of the inclusion of financial derivatives into the international investment position.

From the early 1990s to the early 2000s portfolio investment assets were around a third of total UK assets. Since then, portfolio investment assets have declined as a proportion of total assets, reaching a record low in 2008 of 15%. This fall in proportion partially reflects the inclusion of financial derivatives, but also reflects the disinvestments by UK monetary financial institutions and falls in world stock market prices. In 2009 the proportion of portfolio investment assets increased sharply to 22%, as disinvestment switched to investment and world stock markets rebounded from the losses in the previous year. In 2010 and 2011, this dropped slightly to 21% and 19% respectively, before rising to 22% at the end of 2012.

From high proportions of total investment in the early 1980s (around 75%), the proportion of other investment assets declined to 46% of total assets in 1999, before rallying to 52% in 2003. With the inclusion of financial derivatives the proportion dropped to 46% in 2004, before increasing to 48% in 2005; it then fell to 38% in 2008, due to a sharp increase in financial derivatives liabilities and stood at 36% at the end of 2012.

Figure 8.2: UK assets

Figure 8.2: UK assets

Download chart

UK liabilities

Financial derivatives liabilities accounted for 15% of total liabilities when first introduced into the international investment position in 2004. They peaked at 36% in 2008 before dropping back to 24% in 2009. They then increased to 29% in 2010 with the inclusion of data for the financial derivatives liabilities of UK securities dealers before increasing to 33% in 2011. In 2012 this fell back to 29%.

Direct investment in the UK accounted for around 10% of the total value of UK liabilities from 1993 to 2003. More recently the share has declined, mainly due to the inclusion of financial derivatives, reaching a low of 6% in 2008; it then increased to reach 8% at the end of 2012.

Portfolio investment increased from 20% in 1987 to 36% in 1999, before falling back to 29% in 2002. This was largely due to falls in the UK stock markets in 2001 and 2002 and the impact on the value of equity liabilities. Portfolio investment decreased to 26% of total liabilities in 2004 with the inclusion of financial derivatives. The percentage of portfolio investment fell to a record low of 19% in 2008, partially due to the inclusion of financial derivatives but also due to the effects of the global financial crisis leading to falls in stock market prices. In 2009 the proportion of portfolio investment increased to 28% as stock markets recovered but in 2011 and 2012 dropped again to 23% and 24% respectively. The decrease in 2011 was mainly due to falls in the UK stock markets.

Similarly to the asset position, the share of the value of other investment liabilities in the UK fell from 66% in 1994 to 54% in 1999. From 1999 to 2002 the proportion of other investment increased, accounting for 60% of the total value of UK liabilities in 2002. With the inclusion of financial derivatives, the proportion dropped to 51% in 2004; it then fell from 49% in 2007 to 39% in 2008, due to a sharp increase in financial derivatives liabilities. By the end of 2012 the proportion stood at 38%.

Figure 8.3: UK liabilities

Figure 8.3: UK liabilities

Download chart

Financial derivatives

Financial derivatives of UK banks were included in the main aggregates of the international investment position from 2004, with financial derivatives of UK securities dealers being included from 2010. The stock of financial derivative assets increased sharply from £1,378.1 billion in 2007 to £4,040.2 billion in 2008, before falling back to £2,176.4 billion in 2009. It then increased to reach £3,617.8 billion in 2011, but decreased to £3,060.4 billion in 2012. Financial derivative liabilities have shown a similar path to that of assets, increasing from £1,392.2 billion in 2007 to £3,915.3 billion in 2008, falling to £2,096.8 billion in 2009 before rising to £3,554.9 billion in 2011, but decreasing to £3,032.6 billion in 2012.

Direct investment

Direct investment assets have almost doubled over the last decade, to reach a record high of £1,137.0 billion in 2012. Investments by UK private non-financial corporations (PNFCs) accounted for 70% of UK direct investment assets at the end of 2012, while other financial intermediaries accounted for 10% and monetary financial institutions accounted for 7%. The value of PNFCs’ assets almost trebled between 1997 and 2000, reflecting the substantial foreign acquisitions by UK oil and telecom companies in that period. The value of PNFCs’ assets reached £821.0 billion in 2008 before falling to £700.4 billion in 2009. They then increased over the next three years to reach £798.6 billion at the end of 2012.

Inward direct investment grew sharply in the late 1990s, with the total value of UK liabilities more than doubling between 1997 and 2001, and almost doubling again by 2010. PNFCs’ share of the value of total foreign direct investment liabilities fell from 85% in 1989 to 75% in 1997. Since then, the sector’s contribution to direct investment liabilities has fluctuated between 73 and 80%, standing at 77% in 2012. Direct investment in UK monetary financial institutions, as a proportion of total investment liabilities, peaked in 1997 at 12% of total inward direct investment. In 2012, direct investment in UK monetary financial institutions was 8% of total investment liabilities.

Figure 8.4: Direct investment

Figure 8.4: Direct investment

Download chart

Portfolio investment

Between 2002 and 2012 UK portfolio investment abroad increased from £844.0 billion to £2,251.3 billion. The pattern of growth in equities has been more erratic than the growth in debt, as the value of equity securities assets is heavily influenced by changes in global equity prices.

Between 2001 and 2002, the value of portfolio investment equity securities assets fell by almost a quarter to £305.9 billion. This mirrored the fall in world equity prices over the same period. There was a similar percentage fall in value between 2007 and 2008, to £565.2 billion, the result of a fall in world equity prices and disinvestment by UK monetary financial institutions and pension funds. The value of portfolio investment equity securities assets then increased over the next two years, as the stock market rebounded and disinvestment switched back to investment, to reach a level of £750.7 billion in 2010, just above that recorded in 2007. However, this was followed by falls in world equity prices and disinvestment, leading to a drop in the UK assets level to £678.8 billion at the end of 2011, followed by an increase to £773.5 billion in 2012. The value of foreign debt securities held by UK investors increased steadily from £538.1 billion in 2002 to £1,477.8 billion in 2012. UK monetary financial institutions held 43% of total UK portfolio investment securities assets in 2007 before the financial crisis began to take hold. At the end of 2012 they owned just 27%, while other financial intermediaries increased their share from 16 to 35% between 2007 and 2012.

Between 2002 and 2010 the total value of UK portfolio investment liabilities increased from £925.3 billion to £2,554.3 billion before falling to £2,469.3 billion in 2011, and increasing to £2,503.2 billion by the end of 2012. The value of UK debt securities held by foreign investors increased in every year from 1986 to 2011, but fell in 2012. As with UK investment abroad, the pattern of growth in UK equity liabilities has been more erratic than the growth in debt, since the value of equity securities assets is heavily influenced by movements in UK stock markets. Falls in UK stock markets in 2001, 2002 and 2011 caused the total value of UK portfolio investment liabilities to fall in those years. However, the drop in the value of UK equity liabilities in 2008, due to falling share prices, was outweighed by net portfolio investment in UK debt securities in that year.

Figure 8.5: Portfolio investment

Figure 8.5: Portfolio investment

Download chart

Other investment

The stock of UK other investment abroad in 2012 was £3,712.5 billion. UK monetary financial institutions accounted for 75% of total other investment abroad in 2012; this proportion has declined from around 90% of total other investment in the late 1980s. The bulk of UK monetary financial institutions deposits abroad were in foreign currencies, only 8% being held in sterling at the end of 2012.

Deposits from abroad held with UK monetary financial institutions represent the largest item in other investment liabilities. These deposits have declined from over 90% in the late 1980s to 75% at the end of 2012. Of the £2,978.8 billion total deposits with UK monetary financial institutions in 2012, 16% were held in sterling. The fall in the proportionate value of deposits with monetary financial institutions is partially the result of the increase in short-term loans to UK securities dealers and other non-bank sectors, which increased from £48.5 billion in 1990 to £990.8 billion at the end of 2012.

Figure 8.6: Other investment

Figure 8.6: Other investment

Download chart

The reference tables in relation to Chapter 8 are available to download. (297 Kb Excel sheet)

Reference Tables

The reference tables in relation to Part 2 are available to view and print. (89.4 Kb Pdf)

Background notes

  1. Reliability of estimates

    All the value estimates are calculated as accurately as possible; however they cannot always be regarded as being absolutely precise to the last digit shown. Similarly, the index numbers are not necessarily absolutely precise to the last digit shown. Some figures are provisional and may be revised later; this applies particularly to many of the detailed figures for the latest years. For example, calendar year date for the International Trade in Services Survey and Foreign Direct Investment Survey are not available until after Pink Book publication. Therefore, the latest Trade in Services and Direct Investment data published in the Pink Book are provisional estimates and subject to annual benchmarking after publication.

    The latest data when available for the International Trade in Services Survey can be found at: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?newquery=international+trade+in+services+survey

    The latest data when available for the Foreign Direct Investment Survey can be found at: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?pageSize=50&newquery=foreign+direct+investment+survey

  2. Rounding

    As figures have been rounded to the nearest final digit, there may be slight discrepencies between the sums of the constituent items and the totals as shown.

  3. Revisions since ONS Pink Book 2012

    The data in the Pink Book are subject to revisions following the ONS National Accounts Revisions Policy.

    Capital transfers - Revisions to the capital account are attributable to revised source data from HM Treasury, the Department for International Development and the International Trade in Services survey.

    Financial account and IIP - the data are revised from 1997. Revisions from 2003 reflect changes to the methodology for estimating UK residents deposits held overseas together with the changes to the methodology for estimating bond debt liabilities. An article detailing the improvements to the financial account has been published in conjunction with this bulletin. 

    Revisions from 2010 reflect the use of annual inquiry results from the ONS direct investment surveys.

  4. Symbols

    The following symbols are used throughout:

    ..    = not available

    -     = nil or less than a million

  5. Understanding the data

    A brief introduction to the United Kingdom balance of payments provides an overview of the concepts and coverage of the UK Balance of Payments.

    A glossary of terms used in the UK balance of payments is available on the National Statistics website.

    More detailed methodological notes for the UK balance of payments are also available on the website.

    The following webpage contains articles of interest which relate to UK balance of payments statistics.

  6. References

    The internationally agreed framework for the presentation of the Balance of Payments and the National Accounts are described in the following publications:

    Balance of Payments Manual (5th edition, 1993), International Monetary Fund (ISBN 1-55775-339-3). www.imf.org/external/np/sta/bop/BOPman.pdf

    Balance of Payments Textbook (1996), International Monetary Fund (ISBN 1-55775-570-1). www.imf.org/external/np/sta/bop/BOPtex.pdf

    European System of Accounts (ESA 1995), Office of Official Publications of the European Communities (ISBN 92-827-7954-8). epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/product_details/publication?p_product_code=CA-15-96-001

    System of National Accounts (1993), (ISBN 92-1-161352-2). unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/docs/1993sna.pdf

  7. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.