XBRL general description

XBRL is an XML-based financial reporting language used in COREP and FINREP reporting for credit institutions and in Solvency II reporting for life and non-life insurance companies.

XBRL reporting language

XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is designed to describe financial information, such as financial statements and accounting data, in electronic form. The key objective of XBRL implementation is to reduce costs as well as to improve data accuracy and reliability.

The XBRL specification is developed by XBRL International, a global not-for-profit consortium consisting of member companies, organisations and authorities. XBRL is an open reporting standard that has been adopted in several countries.

XBRL is a highly expressive language that enables flexible presentation of elements in financial reports, hierarchical relations between them, their order of presentation, simple mathematical relations between the elements, and their labels in various languages. XBRL also enables description of multidimensional data and complex arithmetic and logical relations between elements.

XBRL reports can be processed automatically. Electronic reporting allows for electronic data analysis, data sharing and the option of presenting the information in various human-readable formats. The use of XBRL makes data processing considerably faster, decreases the risk of mistakes and enables automatic data checking.

XML background

XBRL is based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), which is a metalanguage for developing structural markup languages. In XML, data content is separated from presentational information.

XML consists of elements that form a hierarchical structure. Each XML document has exactly one single root element. The element consists of a start and end tag, for example, <name>...</name>. The element may also contain attributes, such as <name id="123">...</name>.


A single XBRL document may incorporate several different markup languages, which are identified by using namespaces.

The namespace is specified by adding the name of the namespace and a colon in front of the element name. Namespaces are identified at the beginning of each document using the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), e.g. xmlns:examplens=http://example.com/examplens. This allows for a single document to contain elements with identical names but with different namespaces. For example, within a single document, the element <title> may refer to the document itself or the formal appellation associated with its author, in which case the namespace is used to specify which of the two elements it refers to (e.g. <person:title> or <document:title>).

XBRL documents may contain various markup languages, for instance XML, XBRL, XML Schema and XLink.


A schema specifies the structure and data types of an XML document. The schema may be used to check whether the structure and data types of the document are valid. It contains definitions of the elements and attributes to be used, as well as their possible default values. It may also contain additional information about the purposes and uses of the documents.

XBRL relies on a markup language called XML Schema to define documents. XML Schema defines elements, both complex and simple types. Complex type elements include attributes or sub-elements. Simple type elements do not include sub-elements, only simple content.

The annotation element in the XML Schema definition can be used to describe document-related entries in both human-readable and computer-readable form. For example, in the appinfo sub-element of the annotation element, other files may be linked to the schema document.

Other schema files may also be imported into the XML Schema file by using the import element. Each imported schema file must be assigned a namespace. Importing schema files is very helpful, as everything need not be determined in a single document.


XBRL relies on the markup language XLink for linking. XLink is used to create and describe hyperlinks between various resources. XLink allows the use of two kinds of hyperlinks: unidirectional simple links and complex extended links. The relation between two connected resources is defined by creating a hyperlink with metadata between them.


An XBRL taxonomy can be seen a description of the structure of the financial reports. It may include data on the facts contained in the document, how they relate to each other and their assigned labels.

A taxonomy may be restricted to a specific accounting standard or it can be extended with further items.

Basic structure of an XBRL taxonomy

An XBRL taxonomy consists of an XML Schema document (.xsd) and linkbases (.xml).

A schema document uses XML Schema to produce a non-structured one dimensional representation of the element definitions in the financial report. Elements are assigned with necessary attributes, such as name, data type and level of abstraction.

Linkbases use XLink to define the hierarchical relations between elements, their order of presentation, simple mathematical relations between the elements, their labels in various readable languages and references to element-related regulation.

There are currently five types of linkbases:

  • A definition linkbase defines different kinds of relations and hierarchies between data elements. The definition linkbase of a table also defines possible related dimensions as well as cells that are not intended to be reported.
  • A calculation linkbase defines how the content is calculated. This allows you to programmatically check the calculations and the data for consistency. However, the only calculations available in a calculation linkbase are simple addition and subtraction. The XBRL formula specification will address this issue in the future, as it also allows the use of arithmetic and logical expressions.
  • A presentation linkbase defines the structure for displaying the data.
  • A label linkbase defines human-readable labels for elements. Since labels are contained in a separate document, they can be altered without touching other documents. This makes it easy to present a report in multiple languages, for example.
  • Reference linkbases can be used to connect elements to legislation or a directive that prescribes on the reporting of the element in question.

EBA ITS quality assurance

Template-specific reporting obligations

Verifications relating to the scope of reporting are part of the quality assurance process of ITS reporting. The template content in the reports consists of filing indicators described in chapter 1.6 of the EBA XBRL Filing Rules document, and they indicate which templates are reported and which are not reported. The filing indicators in the report must be in line with the template-specific reporting obligations. The reporting obligations for the templates are based on, for example, the risk measurement approaches applied by the reporting entity, as well as on possible exemptions granted to the reporting entity. The template-specific reporting obligations may also depend on the exceeding of the threshold values determined by regulation, as well as on the data reported in the other templates in the report.

The table below describes the template-specific reporting obligations for ITS reports and the principles on the basis of which they are determined, as well as the permitted filing indicator types for each reporting obligation category. The specifications listed in the table enable the reporting entity to verify in advance that the filing indicators in the reports remitted to the FIN-FSA are in line with the template-specific reporting obligations.

EGDQ checks