June 27, 2018

OFR published a paper that outlines an approach to capturing information in the National Information Center database about bank holding companies (BHCs) and their subsidiaries, along with their ownership and control relationships. The paper proposes a detailed ontology that non-experts can use to analyze bank holding companies more effectively.

The authors consider the challenges and benefits of ontologies for information management for regulatory reporting from BHCs. Many BHCs, especially the largest and most complex firms, have multiple federal supervisors who oversee a diverse array of subsidiaries. This creates a federated data management problem that disperses information across many firms and regulators. The authors prototyped an ontology for the public National Information Center (NIC) database of FED.

NIC identifies all BHCs, their subsidiaries, and the ownership and control relationships among them. It is a basic official source on the structure of the industry. A formal ontology can capture this expert-curated knowledge in a coherent, structured format. This could assure data integrity and enable non-experts to more readily integrate and analyze data about complex organizations. The authors test the design and development of federated prototype ontologies in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) to provide and integrate the NIC data with precise semantics for transparency and consistency. The preliminary results indicate that this is feasible in practice for data search and analysis and that the ontologies can facilitate semantic integration and improve the integrity of data and metadata.


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Keywords: Americas, US, Banking, OWL, BHCs, National Information Center, Data Integration, Research, OFR

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