Bankscope: identifying banks

Bankscope is a database that covers banks around the world. Each bank report contains detailed data from consolidated and/or unconsolidated balance sheets and income statements. Also included are Fitch Ratings and other sources. Bankscope offers company and country risk ratings, reports, ownership, and some security and price information. This database is produced by Bureau van Dijk and, depending on the license, covers 30.000 banks and up to 16 years of data (for example: the license at the Vrije Universiteit currently covers only banks from OECD countries and about 8 years).

When you are searching for companies it may initially seem odd, that in the search result in Bankscope there are many duplicate banks. See the example below:

When you look carefully you see that in (the middle) column “Cons. code” you can identify specific statements from companies. If you want to look at specific company reports or when you want to find out how many actual banks you initially found you can do this as follows:

  • Click “Show Search Strategy” above list of banks
  • Choose the option “Add a search step
  • Click the Search option: “Account Availability” and select “Living Banks“.

The search result will now list how many banks were actually found instead of the number of financial statements that were found. The example below shows that from the initial search result of 81 statements these were from 19 actual banks. Keep in mind that numbers in a search result can change quickly because the Bankscope database is often updated and new statements or banks may be added.


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