Call Reports Explained: What They Are, How to File, and Why They Matter


If you’ve ever wondered what a “call report” is, you’re in the right place. This regulatory requirement is a quarterly snapshot of a U.S. bank’s financial health, filed with the FDIC. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the specifics, its importance, and why it matters to the broader banking system. From the report of condition and income to submission and oversight, we’ve got you covered.

What is a call report?

A call report, often referred to as the “report of condition and income” or RC report, is a regulatory filing that all banks in the United States must submit to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on a quarterly basis. This report serves as a critical window into a bank’s financial well-being and plays a significant role in assessing the overall health of the U.S. banking system. Banks subject to this reporting requirement include national banks, state member banks, and non-member banks.

One of the key features of the call report is that it provides a standardized and systematic way of reporting financial data. This consistency in reporting allows for easy comparisons between different banks and over time. It’s essential for regulatory authorities, investors, and other stakeholders to gauge the financial performance and stability of banks.

Understanding call reports

The call report is a comprehensive document that encompasses various financial aspects of a bank’s operations. It includes:

  • The bank’s income statement, which details revenue and expenses.
  • Balance sheet information, presenting assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • Details about loans and deposits, offering insights into lending and funding activities.
  • Information on investments, crucial for understanding how the bank manages its funds.
  • Changes in the bank’s capital, revealing the bank’s ability to absorb losses.
  • Information on asset sales, which can signal changes in a bank’s strategy or financial condition.

These details are critical for assessing the financial health and performance of a bank. By comparing call reports over time, regulators can identify trends or anomalies, helping them address issues before they become significant problems. This proactive approach is a fundamental aspect of financial stability and the prevention of financial crises.

Who needs to file call reports?

Call reports are mandatory for a specific group of banks in the United States. The institutions required to file call reports include:

  • National banks: These are banks chartered and regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
  • State member banks: These are banks that are part of the Federal Reserve System.
  • Non-member banks: These are banks that are not part of the Federal Reserve System.

These institutions vary in size, structure, and the services they offer, but they all share the responsibility of providing accurate and timely financial information through call reports. The scope of the reporting may differ slightly based on the specific regulatory authority overseeing the bank.

Why call reports matter

Call reports play a pivotal role in the U.S. banking system. Here are several reasons why they are of paramount importance:

Financial health assessment

One of the primary functions of call reports is to provide a detailed snapshot of a bank’s financial health. It outlines not only the bank’s profitability but also its solvency and liquidity. Regulators can quickly identify areas of concern or strength in a bank’s operations, which is essential for maintaining financial stability.

System-wide health evaluation

By aggregating and analyzing call reports from multiple banks, regulators gain insights into the overall health of the U.S. banking system. They can detect systemic issues and vulnerabilities, enabling them to take preventive measures and formulate appropriate policies to safeguard the stability of the financial sector.

Early issue identification

Call reports are instrumental in early issue identification. If a bank is reporting deteriorating financial conditions, regulators can intervene swiftly to address the problem. This proactive approach helps prevent systemic risks and potential crises.

Historical performance analysis

With a rich history of call reports, financial analysts and economists can perform historical performance analyses. These reports provide a valuable dataset for assessing trends, predicting future outcomes, and making informed decisions about investments or regulatory policies.

Policy formulation

Regulatory agencies and policymakers utilize call reports to formulate and adjust financial regulations and policies. The data enables them to make informed decisions about capital requirements, risk management practices, and other regulatory measures.

Specific reporting requirements

The specific reporting requirements for a bank depend upon several factors:

  • The size of the bank: Larger banks have more extensive reporting obligations due to their complexity and potential systemic impact.
  • Whether the bank has “foreign” offices: Banks with international operations may have additional reporting requirements to account for their cross-border activities.
  • The capital standards applicable to the bank: Different capital standards may apply based on the bank’s size, structure, and risk profile.

These variations ensure that the call report process is tailored to the specific circumstances of each bank, reflecting the principle of proportionality in regulatory oversight.


Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider when it comes to call reports.

  • Provides essential insight into a bank’s financial health.
  • Contributes to the overall stability of the U.S. banking system.
  • Helps regulators identify and address potential issues early.
  • Can be time-consuming and resource-intensive for banks.
  • Potential for errors in reporting.
  • May require additional administrative overhead.

Frequently asked questions

What are the consequences of non-compliance with call report filing requirements?

Failure to comply with call report filing requirements can have serious consequences for banks. Regulatory authorities may impose penalties, fines, or other enforcement actions. Additionally, non-compliance may damage the bank’s reputation and lead to increased regulatory scrutiny.

Are there any exemptions for small banks regarding call report filing?

Yes, there are exemptions for small banks. Banks with total assets of less than $5 million and a composite CAMELS rating of 1 or 2 may be eligible for reduced reporting requirements. These exemptions aim to alleviate the reporting burden on smaller institutions.

How can investors and the public access call reports?

Call reports are made available to the public through the FDIC’s website. Investors, analysts, and anyone interested in a bank’s financial health can access these reports to gain insights into a bank’s performance. Additionally, the FFIEC provides a central repository for call reports and other financial data.

Key takeaways

  • A call report, or the “report of condition and income,” is a quarterly filing by U.S. banks to the FDIC.
  • It provides essential insights into a bank’s financial health and contributes to the broader assessment of the U.S. banking system’s stability.
  • Regulatory requirements for call reports may vary based on the size and type of the bank.
  • Call reports must be filed within 30 days of the end of each quarter and are overseen by the FDIC.
  • These reports are made publicly available and help regulators address potential issues early.
View article sources
  1. Bank Regulatory – University of Pennsylvania
  2. FFIEC 033 Report Forms – Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
  3. U.S. Call Report Data – Data & Code – NYU Stern School of Business
  4. Call Report – Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
  5. What is a Callable CD? Explanation, Pros & Cons – SuperMoney
  6. How to Self Report to Credit Bureaus – SuperMoney