The “accounting view” of money: money as equity (Part III)

Partially I from the blog, we discussed the implications within our recommended “Accounting View” of money since it relates to legal tender. Partially II, we further elaborated round the implications in the new approach, with specific reference to the commercial bank money. We conclude our control over commercial bank profit this part, beginning where we left, that’s, the double (accounting) nature of economic bank (sight) deposits as debt or equity.

Bank deposits: debt, equity, or both…?

This double nature is stochastic because, at issuance, every deposit unit might be debt (if, getting a particular probability, the issuing bank receives calls for money conversion or interbank settlement) and equity (with complementary probability). Faced using this type of stochastic double nature, a commercial bank finds simple to use to provision the deposit unit issued with a few reserves that equals only the expected price of the connected debt event, instead of the full price of the deposit unit issued.

“Stochastic” refers that, ex ante, an economic institution creating one unit of deposit expects (probabilistically) that simply a share of the unit can lead to debt, because the remaining share (still probabilistically) will not be prone to calls for conversion or settlement. The proportion of debt-deposits (or equity-deposits becasue it is complement) can be a stochastic variable that’s impacted by behavior and institutional factors (for example, cash usage habits or payment system rules) additionally to contingent occasions. For example, in occasions of market stress, the proportion of debt-deposits includes a inclination to improve, even though it is generally lower when there’s strong trust throughout the market as well as the banking system particularly. Policy and structural factors that strengthen such trust (for example, the elasticity the central bank provides liquidity somewhere as needed or possibly a first deposit insurance mechanism) raise the share of equity-deposits.

This argument is obvious when placed on the whole banking system, nevertheless it holds for everyone bank-although to numerous extents, with regards to the size each bank for just about any given settlement system and money in the discussion up to now, as a result, anything else being equal, the stochastic share of debt-deposits for just about any small bank is much more compared to any bigger bank. The other way round, the larger could be the bank, the greater could be the share of equity present in its deposit liabilities.

Accounting concepts

The stochastic double nature of bank funds are similar to the concepts of general accounting as defined inside the Conceptual Framework of financial Reporting, which sets the concepts underpinning the world Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). In line with the Framework,

“A liability can be a present obligation in the entity to transfer a monetary resource due to past events”.2


“Financial reports represent economic phenomena in words and number. To get useful, financial information should not only represent relevant phenomena, nevertheless it also needs to represent the substance in the phenomena it provides represent. In several conditions, the substance from the economic phenomenon which is legal form are similar. Once they will not function as the same, offering information a maximum of the legal form wouldn’t faithfully represent the cost-effective phenomenon. 3 [emphasis added]

Thinking about these definitions, sight deposits certainly are a hybrid instrument – partly debt and partly revenue. Your financial troubles part relates to the proportion of deposits that will (likely) become banknotes if needed or into reserve for settlement purposes, and reflects the “substance” in the obligation underlying the deposit contract. The revenue part, however, relates to the proportion of deposits that will (likely) never become banknotes or reserves, and reflects the mere “legal form” underlying the deposit contract. This share of deposits is definitely an origin of revenue. Once accrued, this revenue becomes equity.

Now, since there is no accounting standard governing hybrid revenue-liability instruments clearly, Worldwide Accounting Standards (IAS) 32 applies (in pressure of IAS 8) while offering that, poor a hybrid liability instrument, your financial troubles component ought to be separated within the equity one.4 From such separation derives that, once the debt component is identified, all of those other left could be the equity component.5 Inside the situation of deposits, the proportion of deposits that (probably) will not lead to debt represents retained earnings (that’s, equity).

Using IAS 32 can be a textbook situation. It signifies the total amount sheet in the issuing bank should report among obligations only the share of deposits that gives origin with a “probable” creation of financial benefits, because the residual share needs to be reported inside the earnings statement as revenue. In addition, since the share of profits for this reason revenue is undistributed, it could boost the bank’s equity within the budget statement.

To assist the validity in the approach here recommended, consider IAS 37 (governing risk provisioning, charges, and contingent liabilities).6 This standard views as debt all commitments which come underneath the Framework’s concept of “liability,” that’s, people who generate outflows of financial benefits getting a probability greater than .5. Below such threshold, the liability can be a contingent liability and really should just be reported inside the notes for the fiscal reports.

The implication is inevitable: the existence of legal claims is not alone sufficient for just about any liability that require thinking about as debt the essential requisite could be the probable outflows of financial benefits. Inside the situation of bank money, the proportion of deposits that are not debt should be thought about as revenue, as well as, since such revenue is not reported inside the earnings statement, it constitutes retained earnings (or equity).


The double nature of economic bank money draws its origin from the effectiveness of banks to make a kind of money that simply partly gets the nature of debt. An important implication is always that another share of deposits that banks report inside the balance sheet as “debt toward clients” generates revenues that are greatly such as the seigniorage rent extracted with the condition using the issuance of legal money (coins, banknotes, and central bank reserves). As discussed elsewhere,7 this specific seigniorage represents a structural element of subtraction of internet real sources throughout the economy, with deflationary effects on profits and/or wages, distributional effects, and frictions between capital and labor, that you should studied carefully.


Bossone, B. 2000. “What Makes Banks Special? Research of Banking, Finance, and Economic Development.” Policy Research Working Paper 2408, World Bank, Washington, Electricity.

—. 2001. “Circuit Theory of Banking and Finance.” Journal of Banking and Finance 25 (5): 857-90.

—. 2017. “Commercial Bank Seigniorage: A Primer.” World Bank, Washington, Electricity.

1 Size here means quantity of payment transactions the financial institution intermediates in compliance using the entire payment transactions inside the system.

2 Section 4.26 in the Conceptual Framework.

3 Section 2.12 in the Conceptual Framework.

4 Particularly, IAS 8 (Sections 10-11) necessitates that, “In the possible lack of an IFRS that particularly relates to a transaction, other event or condition, … management shall reference, and consider the applicability of, the following sources in climbing lower order:

(a) the requirements in IFRSs dealing with similar and related issues and

(b) the definitions, recognition criteria and measurement concepts for assets, liabilities, earnings and expenses inside the Framework.”

5 See IAS 32, Sections 28 It’s significant that, inside the situation ruled with the quoted standard, the hybrid instrument gets the double nature of “liabilities-capital” rather than “liabilities-revenue” however, capital and retained earnings participate in equity. Briefly, equity might be shared into no less than two major components: capital as well as other ownership’s contributions round the one hands, and retained earnings alternatively. IAS 32 provides regulation for splitting hybrid instruments from the part because of liabilities plus a part because of equity. Using the definitions in the Framework, once the component recognizable as debt liability is identified, all of those other component relates to equity.

6 See IAS 37, Section s 12-13, where the fundamental distinction is attracted involving the adjective “probable” for debt liabilities as well as the adjective “possible” for contingent liabilities to get reported inside the notes for the fiscal reports.

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