U.S. Investment advisers, other financial services providers, and pooled investment vehicles – private and public funds – involved in certain cross-border transactions must file.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) is conducting its next five-year “Benchmark Survey of U.S. Financial Services Providers and Foreign Persons” on Form BE-180. The survey is mandatory and collects data on cross-border trade and financial services transactions of U.S. financial services providers, including investment advisers and other asset managers, broker-dealers and banks. BE-180 covers cross-border purchase and sales transactions that occurred or were charged during the U.S. reporter’s 2014 fiscal year. BE-180 is one of a series of benchmark surveys measuring international trade transactions and collecting data for use in various economic studies.
Who Is Required to Report
Each U.S. individual and entity that is a “financial services provider” and meets the reporting requirements must file form BE-180. Financial services providers include investment advisers and their pooled vehicles such as hedge funds, private equity funds, pension funds, mutual funds and real estate funds, and broker-dealers.
The reporting requirement applies to each U.S. individual or entity that is a financial services provider with (i) either sales or purchases directly with non-U.S. individuals or entities in excess of $3 million or more on a consolidated basis during the 2014 fiscal year, or (ii) sales or purchases directly with non-U.S. individuals or entities of less than $3 million, that were notified by the BEA about the survey. Any U.S. individual or entity that is notified by the BEA about the survey but has no transactions of the types of services covered must complete pages 1-3 of the survey.
Reportable financial transactions include investment management and advisory services, brokerage services, underwriting, custodial services, credit-related services, securities lending, and electronic funds transfer services – transactions involving cross-border payments, such as advisory or sub-advisory fees, brokerage commissions, custodial fees and securities lending fees.
Reportable data include the transactional counterparty’s location by country and the relationship between the U.S. reporter and its counterparty (i.e., foreign affiliates or unaffiliated foreign persons). You may have easy access to some of the required data (such as through your administrator or internal accounting systems). However, as with the other BE forms, obtaining some of the required information may involve additional legwork and cooperation with cross-border counterparties, which should be considered in meeting the deadlines.
Filing Deadline and Extensions
The BEA has granted automatic extensions to the original October 1 filing deadline, as follows:
File no later than November 1, 2015 if:
- You were notified of the BE-180 survey by BEA and have a BE-180 identification number below 140012490.
- You were NOT notified of the BE-180 survey by BEA and do NOT have a BE-180 identification number.
File no later than December 1, 2015 if:
- You were notified of the BE-180 survey by BEA and have a BE-180 identification number above 140012490.
Additional extensions to each filing deadline will be granted by the BEA if a request is submitted by November 1, 2015 as instructed by the BEA.
Failure to file a required report can lead to civil and criminal penalties.
Like it is the case with the other BE forms, information reported on BE-180 is confidential and may be used for only analytical or statistical purposes.
Form BE-180 is available online here.
Instructions for new filers are available here.
Form instructions are available here.
FAQs regarding the BE-180 benchmark survey are available here.
 Additional entities included in the definition are commercial banking entities, bank holding companies, financial holding companies, savings institutions, check cashing and debit card issuing entities, underwriters, investment bankers, providers of securities custody services, insurance carriers, insurance agents, insurance brokers, and insurance services providers.
 The $3 million threshold applies to purchases and sales separately, and must be reported on separate schedules to the BE-180. Consequently, a U.S. reporter, for example, that only exceeds the threshold for sales but does not reach the threshold for purchases, is only required to complete the schedule relating to sales.