Global policymakers have published a new guide on compiling and reporting securities statistics, in an effort to help address the lack of consistent, comparable, accurate data on securities markets that was exposed during the financial crisis.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jointly released a handbook on securities stats Tuesday that aims to improve the collection of data on securities by providing conceptual advice and guidance designed to harmonize the presentation of these statistics.

“It is expected that the handbook will be widely applied, fostering harmonization of the international securities statistics that support global economic, financial, and macro-prudential analyses,” the organizations say in a joint announcement. “The handbook is a milestone in that it is the first publication of its kind dealing exclusively with the conceptual framework for the compilation and presentation of securities statistics.”

The guide was prepared jointly by the BIS, the ECB and the IMF; which also sought input from central banks, national statistical agencies and international organizations.

The need for this sort of guidance was highlighted, they report, by the G20 Data Gaps Initiative, which was launched in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

“The importance of securities markets in intermediating financial flows, both domestically and internationally, underscores the need for relevant, coherent, and internationally comparable statistics,” they note.

“Good securities data, along with monetary and financial statistics, provide important indications on the level of diversification of financial intermediation.”