While the data have been collected and used internally within the Federal Reserve System for more than a decade, the quarterly public release of the data is unprecedented and provides a unique window into large bank portfolios. The data are considered confidential, supervisory information, but the Federal Reserve has approved the release of credit card and first-lien mortgage data at an aggregate level for specific variables of interest. Included in the data release are unique credit card variables related to payment behavior and line management that are not readily available elsewhere. This article provides context on the Public Y-14 data, highlights several variables, and uses data during the pandemic as a case study to analyze recent portfolio trends.

Key Takeaways

  • The large bank credit card and mortgage data quarterly release is a rich source of data that are useful for understanding large bank lending strategies, consumer credit behavior, and responses to economic stress.
  • The publicly disclosed data represent around four-fifths of the U.S. credit card market, and about one-eighth of the U.S. first-lien mortgage market.
  • The credit card data includes payment-related variables that are not easily accessible through other public sources, including the dollar volume of revolving balances and the share of accounts making full, minimum, and between minimum and full payments. Line-management variables, such as the share of accounts with a credit line increase or credit line decrease, are also included.
  • The public data series tells a compelling story about consumer lending throughout the pandemic.
  1. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia or the Federal Reserve System.
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