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Document 32014O0060

Guideline (EU) 2015/510 of the European Central Bank of 19 December 2014 on the implementation of the Eurosystem monetary policy framework (recast) (ECB/2014/60)

OJ L 91, 2.4.2015, p. 3–135 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

Legal status of the document In force: This act has been changed. Current consolidated version: 06/05/2024

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/guideline/2015/510/oj

2.4.2015   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 91/3


GUIDELINE (EU) 2015/510 OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK

of 19 December 2014

on the implementation of the Eurosystem monetary policy framework (ECB/2014/60)

(recast)

THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular the first indent of Article 127(2) thereof,

Having regard to the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, and in particular the first indent of Article 3.1, Articles 9.2, 12.1, 14.3, 18.2 and the first paragraph of Article 20 thereof,

Whereas:

(1)

Guideline ECB/2011/14 (1) has been substantially amended. Since further amendments are to be made, it should be recast in the interest of clarity.

(2)

Achieving a single monetary policy entails defining the tools, instruments and procedures to be used by the Eurosystem, which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks of those Member States whose currency is the euro (hereinafter the ‘NCBs’), in order to implement such a policy in a uniform manner throughout the Member States whose currency is the euro.

(3)

According to Article 127(1) and (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 3.1 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank (hereinafter the ‘Statute of the ESCB’), the primary objective of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) is to maintain price stability, and, as such, it has the basic tasks of defining and implementing the monetary policy of the Union and conducting foreign-exchange operations consistent with the provisions of Article 219 of the Treaty.

(4)

The general framework of the Eurosystem is based on provisions laid down in the Statute of the ESCB. Under Article 127(1) of the Treaty and, as reflected in the Statute of the ESCB, the Eurosystem is required to act in accordance with certain principles, including the principles of an open market economy with free competition, favouring an efficient allocation of resources.

(5)

To the extent deemed possible and appropriate, and with a view to ensuring operational efficiency, the ECB has recourse to the NCBs for carrying out the operations which form part of the tasks of the Eurosystem pursuant to the principle of decentralisation laid down in Article 12.1 of the Statute of the ESCB and subject to the conditions laid down in Article 14.3 of the Statute of the ESCB.

(6)

In the light of Article 12.1 of the Statute of the ESCB, the ECB has the authority to formulate the single monetary policy of the Union and to issue the necessary guidelines to ensure its proper implementation. In accordance with Article 14.3 of the Statute of the ESCB, the NCBs have an obligation to act in accordance with such guidelines. This Guideline is therefore addressed to the Eurosystem. The rules laid down in this Guideline will be implemented by the NCBs in contractual or regulatory arrangements. Counterparties will be required to comply with those rules as implemented by the NCBs in those contractual or regulatory arrangements.

(7)

The first indent of Article 18.1 of the Statute of the ESCB allows the Eurosystem to operate in the financial markets by buying and selling outright (spot and forward) or under repurchase agreements and by lending or borrowing claims and marketable instruments, whether in euro or other currencies, as well as precious metals. The second indent of Article 18.1 allows the Eurosystem to conduct credit operations with credit institutions and other market participants.

(8)

In implementing its monetary policy, the Eurosystem employs the following monetary policy tools: it conducts open market operations, offers standing facilities and requires credit institutions to hold minimum reserves on accounts with the Eurosystem.

(9)

In order to achieve its objectives, the Eurosystem has a set of instruments at its disposal for conducting open market operations, which include reverse transactions, outright transactions, the issuance of ECB debt certificates, foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes and the collection of fixed-term deposits. Such instruments for the conduct of open market operations aim to ensure an orderly functioning of the money market and to help banks meet their liquidity needs in a smooth and well-organised manner.

(10)

The set of instruments at the Eurosystem's disposal for offering standing facilities are the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility, which are aimed at providing and absorbing overnight liquidity respectively, signalling the stance of monetary policy and bounding overnight money market interest rates.

(11)

The Eurosystem's minimum reserve system primarily pursues the monetary policy objectives of: (a) contributing to the stabilisation of money market interest rates by giving institutions an incentive to temper the effects of temporary liquidity fluctuations due to the averaging provision; and (b) creating or enlarging a structural liquidity shortage, which improves the ability of the Eurosystem to operate efficiently as a liquidity supplier. The legal framework of the Eurosystem's minimum reserve system is laid down in Article 19 of the Statute of the ESCB, Council Regulation (EC) No 2531/98 (2) and Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 of the European Central Bank (ECB/2003/9) (3).

(12)

With regard to their aims, regularity and procedures, the Eurosystem's open market operations can be divided into four categories: (a) main refinancing operations; (b) longer-term refinancing operations; (c) fine-tuning operations; (d) structural operations.

(13)

The main refinancing operations are a category of open market operations conducted by the Eurosystem that play a pivotal role in pursuing the aims of steering interest rates, managing the liquidity situation in the market and signalling the stance of monetary policy.

(14)

The longer-term refinancing operations are aimed at providing counterparties with liquidity that has a maturity longer than that of the main refinancing operations. With longer-term refinancing operations, the Eurosystem does not, as a rule, intend to send signals to the market and therefore normally acts as a rate taker.

(15)

Fine-tuning operations are executed on an ad hoc basis with the aim of managing the liquidity situation in the market and steering interest rates, in particular in order to smooth the effects on interest rates caused by unexpected liquidity fluctuations in the market. The specific fine-tuning operations are adapted to the types of transactions and the specific objectives pursued by the relevant operations.

(16)

Structural operations may be carried out whenever the structural position of the Eurosystem needs to be adjusted with regard to the financial sector.

(17)

The implementation of the Eurosystem's monetary policy framework should ensure that a broad range of counterparties participate under uniform eligibility criteria. These criteria are specified to ensure the equal treatment of counterparties across the Member States whose currency is the euro and to ensure that counterparties fulfil certain prudential and operational requirements.

(18)

In order to protect the Eurosystem from counterparty risk, the second indent of Article 18.1 of the Statute of the ESCB provides that when the Eurosystem conducts credit operations with credit institutions and other market participants, lending should be based on adequate collateral.

(19)

In order to ensure the equal treatment of counterparties, as well as to enhance operational efficiency and transparency, assets must fulfil certain uniform criteria across the Member States whose currency is the euro in order to be eligible as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations.

(20)

The Eurosystem has developed a single framework for assets eligible as collateral so that all Eurosystem credit operations are carried out in a harmonised manner by means of implementing this Guideline in all Member States whose currency is the euro. The single framework for assets eligible as collateral covers marketable and non-marketable assets that fulfil uniform eligibility criteria specified by the Eurosystem. Most eligible assets may be used on a cross-border basis by means of the correspondent central banking model (CCBM) and, in the case of marketable assets, through eligible links between eligible EEA securities settlement systems (SSSs) or eligible links between eligible EEA SSSs in combination with the CCBM.

(21)

Intraday credit is provided by the Eurosystem to even out mismatches in payment settlements. As laid down in Article 12 of and Annex III to Guideline ECB/2012/27 (4), the collateral for the provision of intraday credit is required to comply with the same criteria that assets eligible as collateral must fulfil under Part Four.

(22)

All eligible assets for Eurosystem credit operations need to be subject to specific risk control measures in order to protect the Eurosystem against financial losses in circumstances where its collateral has to be realised due to an event of default of a counterparty. Eligible assets are required to meet the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements specified in the Eurosystem credit assessment framework (ECAF) rules.

(23)

The ECB imposes sanctions on institutions which do not comply with obligations arising from ECB regulations and decisions relating to the application of minimum reserves in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 2532/98 (5), European Central Bank Regulation (EC) No 2157/1999 (ECB/1999/4) (6), Regulation (EC) No 2531/98 and Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9). In the event of a serious infringement of the minimum reserve requirements, the Eurosystem may also suspend counterparties' participation in open market operations.

(24)

In accordance with the provisions of the contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the relevant NCB or by the ECB, if counterparties fail to comply with their obligations under the contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the NCBs or by the ECB, as set out in this Guideline, the Eurosystem can impose financial penalties or suspend counterparties' participation in open market operations or standing facilities.

(25)

In accordance with the provisions in the contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the relevant NCB or by the ECB, the Eurosystem may also suspend, limit or exclude counterparties' access to open market operations or standing facilities on the grounds of prudence or if there is an event of default of a counterparty. On the grounds of prudence, the Eurosystem may also reject, limit the use of or apply supplementary haircuts to assets mobilised by specific counterparties as collateral in Eurosystem credit operations.

(26)

All contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the NCBs with their counterparties should contain minimum common features aimed at ensuring the application of the single monetary policy under terms and conditions which are not materially different among Member States whose currency is the euro,

HAS ADOPTED THIS GUIDELINE:

CONTENTS

PART ONE —

SUBJECT MATTER, SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS

PART TWO —

THE EUROSYSTEM MONETARY POLICY TOOLS, OPERATIONS, INSTRUMENTS AND PROCEDURES

TITLE I —

Open market operations

Chapter 1 —

Overview of open market operations

Chapter 2 —

Categories of open market operations

Chapter 3 —

Instruments for open market operations

TITLE II —

Standing facilities

Chapter 1 —

Marginal lending facility

Chapter 2 —

Deposit facility

TITLE III —

Procedures for Eurosystem monetary policy operations

Chapter 1 —

Tender and bilateral procedures for Eurosystem open market operations

Section 1 —

Tender procedures

Section 2 —

Operational steps for tender procedures

Subsection 1 —

Announcement of tender procedures

Subsection 2 —

Preparation and submission of bids by counterparties

Subsection 3 —

Tender allotment

Subsection 4 —

Announcement of tender results

Section 3 —

Bilateral procedures for Eurosystem open market operations

Chapter 2 —

Settlement procedures for Eurosystem monetary policy operations

PART THREE —

ELIGIBLE COUNTERPARTIES

PART FOUR —

ELIGIBLE ASSETS

TITLE I —

General principles

TITLE II —

Eligibility criteria and credit quality requirements for marketable assets

Chapter 1 —

Eligibility criteria for marketable assets

Section 1 —

General eligibility criteria for marketable assets

Section 2 —

Specific eligibility criteria for certain types of marketable assets

Subsection 1 —

Specific eligibility criteria for asset-backed securities

Subsection 2 —

Specific eligibility criteria for covered bonds backed by asset-backed securities

Subsection 3 —

Specific eligibility criteria for debt certificates issued by the eurosystem

Chapter 2 —

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for marketable assets

TITLE III —

Eligibility criteria and credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets

Chapter 1 —

Eligibility criteria for non-marketable assets

Section 1 —

Eligibility criteria for credit claims

Section 2 —

Eligibility criteria for fixed-term deposits

Section 3 —

Eligibility criteria for RMBDs

Chapter 2 —

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets

Section 1 —

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for credit claims

Section 2 —

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for RMBDs

TITLE IV —

Guarantees for marketable and non-marketable assets

TITLE V —

Eurosystem credit assessment framework for eligible assets

TITLE VI —

Risk control and valuation framework of marketable and non-marketable assets

Chapter 1 —

Risk control measures for marketable assets

Chapter 2 —

Risk control measures for non-marketable assets

Chapter 3 —

Valuation rules for marketable and non-marketable assets

TITLE VII —

Acceptance of non euro-denominated collateral in contingencies

TITLE VIII —

Rules for the use of eligible assets

TITLE IX —

Cross-border use of eligible assets

PART FIVE —

SANCTIONS IN THE EVENT OF A FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COUNTERPARTY OBLIGATIONS

PART SIX —

DISCRETIONARY MEASURES

PART SEVEN —

ADDITIONAL MINIMUM COMMON FEATURES IN RELATION TO EUROSYSTEM MONETARY POLICY OPERATIONS

Chapter 1 —

Additional minimum common features applicable to all arrangements for Eurosystem monetary policy operations

Chapter 2 —

Additional minimum common features applicable to both repurchase and collateralised loan agreements

Chapter 3 —

Additional minimum common features exclusive to repurchase agreements

Chapter 4 —

Additional minimum common features exclusive to collateralised loan arrangements

Chapter 5 —

Additional minimum common features exclusive to foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes

PART EIGHT —

FINAL PROVISIONS

ANNEX I —

Minimum reserves

ANNEX II —

Announcement of tender operations

ANNEX III —

Allotment of tenders and tender procedures

ANNEX IV —

Announcement of tender results

ANNEX V —

Criteria for the selection of counterparties to participate in foreign exchange intervention operations

ANNEX VI —

Cross-border use of eligible assets

ANNEX VII —

Calculation of sanctions to be applied in accordance with Part Five

ANNEX VIII —

Loan-level data reporting requirements for asset-backed securities

ANNEX IX —

Eurosystem credit assessment framework performance monitoring process

ANNEX X —

Levels of valuation haircuts

ANNEX XI —

Security forms

ANNEX XII —

Examples of Eurosystem monetary policy operations and procedure

ANNEX XIII —

Correlation table

ANNEX XIV —

Repealed Guideline with list of its successive amendments

PART ONE

SUBJECT MATTER, SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

1.   This Guideline sets out the uniform rules for the implementation of the single monetary policy by the Eurosystem throughout the Member States whose currency is the euro.

2.   The Eurosystem shall take all the appropriate measures to implement Eurosystem monetary policy operations in accordance with the principles, tools, instruments, requirements, criteria and procedures laid down in this Guideline.

3.   The legal relationship between the Eurosystem and its counterparties shall be established in appropriate contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the relevant NCB, in which the provisions of this Guideline are implemented accordingly.

4.   The ECB's Governing Council may, at any time, change the tools, instruments, requirements, criteria and procedures for the implementation of Eurosystem monetary policy operations.

5.   The Eurosystem reserves the right to request and obtain any relevant information from counterparties that is needed to carry out its tasks and achieve its objectives in relation to monetary policy operations. This right is without prejudice to any other existing specific rights of the Eurosystem to request information relating to monetary policy operations.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Guideline, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)

‘actual/360 day-count convention’ means the convention applied in Eurosystem monetary policy operations which determines the actual number of calendar days included in the calculation of interest by using a 360-day year as the basis;

(2)

‘agency’ means entities that the Eurosystem has classified as agencies. The list of entities classified as agencies is published on the ECB's website;

(3)

‘asset-backed securities’ (ABSs) means debt instruments that are backed by a pool of ring fenced financial assets (fixed or revolving), that convert into cash within a finite time period. In addition, rights or other assets may exist that ensure the servicing or timely distribution of proceeds to the holders of the security. Generally, asset-backed securities are issued by a specially created investment vehicle which has acquired the pool of financial assets from the originator or seller. In this regard, payments on the asset-backed securities depend primarily on the cash flows generated by the assets in the underlying pool and other rights designed to assure timely payment, such as liquidity facilities, guarantees or other features generally known as credit enhancements;

(4)

‘bilateral procedure’ means a procedure whereby the NCBs or, in exceptional circumstances the ECB, conduct fine-tuning operations or outright transactions, directly with one or more counterparties, or through stock exchanges or market agents, without making use of tender procedures;

(5)

‘book-entry system’ means a system that enables transfers of securities and other financial assets which do not involve the physical movement of paper documents or certificates, e.g. the electronic transfer of securities;

(6)

‘business day’ means: (a) in relation to an obligation to make a payment, any day on which TARGET2 is operational to effect such a payment; or (b) in relation to an obligation to deliver assets, any day on which the SSS through which delivery is to be made is open for business in the place where delivery of the relevant securities is to be effected;

(7)

‘central securities depository’ (CSD) means an entity that: (a) enables securities transactions to be processed and settled by book entry; (b) provides custodial services (e.g. the administration of corporate actions and redemptions); (c) plays an active role in ensuring the integrity of securities issues. Securities can be held in a physical, but immobilised, form or in a dematerialised form (i.e. they exist only as electronic records);

(8)

‘collateralised loan’ means an arrangement between an NCB and a counterparty whereby liquidity is provided to a counterparty by way of a loan that is secured by an enforceable security interest granted by that counterparty to the NCB in the form of e.g. a pledge, assignment or charge granted over assets;

(9)

‘collection of fixed-term deposits’ means an instrument used in conducting open market operations, whereby the Eurosystem invites counterparties to place fixed-term deposits on accounts with their home NCBs in order to absorb liquidity from the market;

(10)

‘competent authority’ means a public authority or body officially recognised by national law that is empowered by national law to supervise institutions as part of the supervisory system in the relevant Member State;

(11)

‘counterparty’ means an institution fulfilling the eligibility criteria laid down in Part Three entitling it to access the Eurosystem's monetary policy operations;

(12)

‘covered bonds’ means debt instruments that have a dual recourse: (a) directly or indirectly to a credit institution; and (b) to a dynamic cover pool of underlying assets, and for which there is no tranching of risk. The term includes jumbo covered bonds, traditional covered bonds and other covered bonds;

(13)

‘credit claim’ means a claim for the repayment of money, which constitutes a debt obligation of a debtor vis-à-vis a counterparty. Credit claims also include Schuldscheindarlehen and Dutch-registered private claims on the government or other eligible debtors that are covered by a government guarantee, e.g. housing associations;

(14)

‘credit institution’ means a credit institution within the meaning of Article 2(5) of Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (7) and point (1) of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (8), which is subject to supervision by a competent authority; or a publicly-owned credit institution within the meaning of Article 123(2) of the Treaty that is subject to supervision of a standard comparable to supervision by a competent authority;

(15)

‘credit rating’ has the same meaning as in Article 3(1)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council (9);

(16)

‘cross-border use’ means the submission, as collateral, by a counterparty to its home NCB of:

(a)

marketable assets held in another Member State whose currency is the euro;

(b)

marketable assets issued in another Member State and held in the Member State of the home NCB;

(c)

credit claims where the credit claim agreement is governed by the laws of another Member State whose currency is the euro other than that of the home NCB;

(d)

retail mortgage-backed debt instruments (RMBDs) in accordance with the applicable procedures of the CCBM;

(17)

‘currency hedge’ means an agreement entered into between a securities issuer and a hedge counterparty, pursuant to which a portion of the currency risk arising from the receipt of cash flows in a non-euro currency is mitigated by swapping the cash flows for euro currency payments to be made by the hedge counterparty, including any guarantee by the hedge counterparty of those payments;

(18)

‘custodian’ means an entity which undertakes the safekeeping and administration of securities and other financial assets on behalf of others;

(19)

‘default market value’ means, with regard to any assets on any date:

(a)

the market value of such assets at the default valuation time calculated on the basis of the most representative price on the business day preceding the valuation date;

(b)

in the absence of a representative price for a particular asset on the business day preceding the valuation date, the last trading price is used. If no trading price is available, the NCB undertaking the operation will define a price, taking into account the last price identified for the asset in the reference market;

(c)

in the case of assets for which no market value exists, any other reasonable method of valuation;

(d)

if the NCB has sold the assets or equivalent assets at the market price before the default valuation time, the net proceeds of sale, after deducting all reasonable costs, fees and expenses incurred in connection with such sale, such calculation being made and amounts determined by the NCB;

(20)

‘delivery-versus-payment’ or ‘delivery-against-payment system’ means a mechanism in an exchange-for-value settlement system which ensures that the final transfer, i.e. the delivery, of assets occurs only upon the occurrence of a corresponding final transfer of other assets, i.e. the payment;

(21)

‘deposit facility’ means a standing facility offered by the Eurosystem which counterparties may use to make overnight deposits at the Eurosystem through an NCB, which are remunerated at a pre-specified interest rate;

(22)

‘deposit facility rate’ means the interest rate applied to the deposit facility;

(23)

‘domestic use’ means the submission, as collateral, by a counterparty established in a Member State whose currency is the euro, of marketable assets issued and held in the same Member State as that of its home NCB or of credit claims where the credit claim agreement is governed by the laws of the Member State of its home NCB and RMBDs issued by entities established in the Member State of the home NCB;

(24)

‘earmarking system’ means a system for NCBs' collateral management whereby liquidity is provided against specified, identifiable assets earmarked as collateral for specified Eurosystem credit operations. The substitution of these assets with other specific eligible assets may be permitted by the home NCB provided that they are earmarked as collateral and are adequate for the specific operation;

(25)

‘eligible assets’ means assets that fulfil the criteria laid down in Part Four and are accordingly eligible as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations;

(26)

‘end-of-day’ means the time of the business day following closure of TARGET2 at which the payments processed in TARGET2 are finalised for the day;

(27)

‘euro area inflation index’ means an index provided by Eurostat or a national statistical authority of a Member State whose currency is the euro, e.g. the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP);

(28)

‘European Economic Area’ (EEA) means all Member States, regardless of whether or not they have formally acceded to the EEA, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway;

(29)

‘Eurosystem’ means the ECB and the NCBs;

(30)

‘Eurosystem business day’ means any day on which the ECB and at least one NCB are open for the purpose of conducting Eurosystem monetary policy operations;

(31)

‘Eurosystem credit operations’ means: (a) liquidity-providing reverse transactions, i.e. liquidity-providing Eurosystem monetary policy operations excluding foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes and outright purchases; and (b) intraday credit;

(32)

‘Eurosystem monetary policy operations’ means open market operations and standing facilities;

(33)

‘Eurosystem User Assessment Framework’ means the framework, which is available on the ECB's website, for the assessment of SSSs and links to determine their eligibility for use in Eurosystem credit operations;

(34)

‘final transfer’ means an irrevocable and unconditional transfer which effects the discharge of the obligation to make the transfer;

(35)

‘financial corporation’ has the same meaning as in Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (10);

(36)

‘fine-tuning operations’ means a category of open market operations executed by the Eurosystem, particularly to deal with liquidity fluctuations in the market;

(37)

‘fixed coupons’ means debt instruments with a predetermined periodic interest payment;

(38)

‘fixed-rate tender procedure’ means a tender procedure whereby the ECB specifies the interest rate, price, swap point or spread in advance of the tender procedure and participating counterparties bid the amount they want to transact at that fixed interest rate, price, swap point or spread;

(39)

‘floating coupon’ means a coupon linked to a reference interest rate with a resetting period corresponding to this coupon of no longer than one year;

(40)

‘foreign exchange swap for monetary policy purposes’ is an instrument used in conducting open market operations whereby the Eurosystem buys or sells euro spot against a foreign currency and, at the same time, sells or buys it back in a forward transaction on a specified repurchase date;

(41)

‘home NCB’ means the NCB of the Member State whose currency is the euro in which the counterparty is established;

(42)

‘indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations’ means a calendar prepared by the Eurosystem, as endorsed by the ECB's Governing Council, which indicates the timing of the reserve maintenance period, as well as the announcement, allotment and maturity of main refinancing operations and regular longer-term refinancing operations;

(43)

‘international central securities depository’ (ICSD) means a CSD that is active in the settlement of internationally traded securities from various national markets, typically across currency areas;

(44)

‘international organisation’ means an entity listed in Article 118 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, whereby exposures to such an entity are assigned a 0 % risk weight;

(45)

‘international securities identification number’ (ISIN) means the international identification code assigned to securities issued in financial markets;

(46)

‘intraday credit’ means credit extended for a period of less than one business day as defined in Guideline ECB/2012/27;

(47)

‘issuance of ECB debt certificates’ means a monetary policy instrument used in conducting open market operations, whereby the ECB issues debt certificates which represent a debt obligation of the ECB in relation to the certificate holder;

(48)

‘jumbo covered bonds’ means covered bonds issued in accordance with the requirements in Article 52(4) of Directive 2009/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (11) and with an issuing volume of at least EUR 1 billion, for which at least three market-makers provide regular bid and ask quotes;

(49)

‘leasing receivables’ means the scheduled and contractually mandated payments by the lessee to the lessor under the terms of a lease agreement. Residual values are not leasing receivables;

(50)

‘liquidity support’ means any structural, actual or potential feature that is designed or deemed appropriate to cover any temporary cash flow shortfall that may occur during the lifetime of an ABS transaction;

(51)

‘longer-term refinancing operations’ (LTROs) means a category of open market operations that are executed by the Eurosystem in the form of reverse transactions that are aimed at providing liquidity with a maturity longer than that of the main refinancing operations to the financial sector;

(52)

‘main refinancing operations’ (MROs) means a category of regular open market operations that are executed by the Eurosystem in the form of reverse transactions;

(53)

‘maintenance period’ has the same meaning as defined in Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9);

(54)

‘margin call’ means a procedure relating to the application of variation margins, implying that if the value of the assets mobilised as collateral by a counterparty, as regularly measured, falls below a certain level, the Eurosystem requires the counterparty to supply additional eligible assets or cash. For pooling systems, a margin call is performed only in cases of under-collateralisation, and for earmarking systems symmetric margin calls are performed, each method as further specified in the national documentation of the home NCB;

(55)

‘marginal interest rate’ means the lowest interest rate in liquidity-providing variable rate tender procedures at which bids are fulfilled, or the highest interest rate in liquidity-absorbing variable rate tender procedures at which bids are fulfilled;

(56)

‘marginal lending facility’ means a standing facility offered by the Eurosystem which counterparties may use to receive overnight credit from the Eurosystem through an NCB at a pre-specified interest rate subject to a requirement for sufficient eligible assets as collateral;

(57)

‘marginal lending facility rate’ means the interest rate applied to the marginal lending facility;

(58)

‘marginal swap point quotation’ means the swap point quotation at which the total tender allotment is exhausted;

(59)

‘marketable assets’ means debt instruments that are admitted to trading on a market and that fulfil the eligibility criteria laid down in Part Four;

(60)

‘maturity date’ means the date on which a Eurosystem monetary policy operation expires. In the case of a repurchase agreement or swap, the maturity date corresponds to the repurchase date;

(61)

‘Member State’ means a Member State of the Union;

(62)

multi cédulas’ means debt instruments issued by specific Spanish SPVs (Fondo de Titulización de Activos, FTA) enabling a certain number of small-sized single cédulas (Spanish covered bonds) from several originators to be pooled together;

(63)

‘multilateral development bank’ means an entity listed in Article 117(2) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, whereby exposures to such an entity are assigned a 0 % risk weight;

(64)

‘multiple rate auction (American auction)’ means an auction in which the allotment interest rate or price or swap point equals the interest rate or price or swap point offered in each individual bid;

(65)

‘multi-step coupon’ means a coupon structure where the margin part (x) increases more than once during the life of the asset according to a predetermined schedule on predetermined dates, usually the call date or the coupon payment date;

(66)

‘national central bank’ (NCB) means a national central bank of a Member State whose currency is the euro;

(67)

‘NCB business day’ means any day on which an NCB is open for the purpose of conducting Eurosystem monetary policy operations, including days when branches of such an NCB may be closed due to local or regional bank holidays;

(68)

‘non-EEA G10 countries’ means the countries participating in the Group of Ten (G10) that are not EEA countries, i.e. the United States of America, Canada, Japan and Switzerland;

(69)

‘non-financial corporation’ has the same meaning as in Regulation (EU) No 549/2013;

(70)

‘non-marketable asset’ means any of the following assets: fixed-term deposits, credit claims and RMBDs;

(71)

‘other covered bonds’ means structured covered bonds and multi cédulas;

(72)

‘outright transaction’ means an instrument used in conducting open market operations, whereby the Eurosystem buys or sells eligible marketable assets outright in the market (spot or forward), resulting in a full transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer with no connected reverse transfer of ownership;

(73)

‘pooling system’ means a system for NCBs' collateral management, whereby a counterparty maintains a pool account with an NCB to deposit assets collateralising that counterparty's related Eurosystem credit operations, whereby the assets are recorded in such a way that an individual eligible asset is not linked to a specific Eurosystem credit operation and the counterparty may substitute eligible assets on a continuous basis;

(74)

‘public credit rating’ means credit ratings which are: (a) issued by credit rating agencies registered in the Union and accepted by the Eurosystem; and (b) disclosed publicly or distributed by subscription;

(75)

‘public sector entity’ means an entity that is classified by a national statistical authority as a unit within the public sector for the purposes of Regulation (EU) No 549/2013;

(76)

‘quick tender’ means a tender procedure, which is normally executed within a time frame of 105 minutes from the announcement of the tender to the certification of the allotment result, and which can be restricted to a limited set of counterparties, as further specified in Part Two;

(77)

‘repurchase agreement’ means an arrangement whereby an eligible asset is sold to a buyer without any retention of ownership on the part of the seller, while the seller simultaneously obtains the right and the obligation to repurchase an equivalent asset at a specific price on a future date or on demand;

(78)

‘repurchase date’ means the date on which the buyer is obliged to sell back equivalent assets to the seller in relation to a transaction under a repurchase agreement;

(79)

‘repurchase price’ means the price at which the buyer is obliged to sell back equivalent assets to the seller in relation to a transaction under a repurchase agreement. The repurchase price equals the sum of the purchase price and the price differential corresponding to the interest on the advanced liquidity over the maturity of the operation;

(80)

‘reverse transaction’ means an instrument used in conducting open market operations and when providing access to the marginal lending facility whereby an NCB buys or sells eligible assets under a repurchase agreement or conducts credit operations in the form of collateralised loans;

(81)

‘safe custody account’ means a securities account managed by an ICSD, CSD or NCB on which credit institutions can place securities eligible for Eurosystem credit operations;

(82)

‘securities settlement system’ (SSS) means a system which allows the transfer of securities, either free of payment (FOP), or against payment (delivery-versus-payment);

(83)

‘settlement date’ means the date on which a transaction is settled;

(84)

‘single rate auction (Dutch auction)’ means an auction in which the allotment interest rate or price or swap point applied for all satisfied bids is equal to the marginal interest rate or price or swap point;

(85)

‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ (SPV) means a securitisation special purpose entity as defined in point 66 of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;

(86)

‘standard tender’ means a tender procedure which is normally carried out within a time frame of 24 hours from the announcement of the tender to the certification of the allotment result;

(87)

‘structural operations’ means a category of open market operations executed by the Eurosystem to adjust the structural liquidity position of the Eurosystem vis-à-vis the financial sector or pursue other monetary policy purposes as further specified in Part Two;

(88)

‘structured covered bonds’ means covered bonds, with the exception of multi-cédulas, which are not issued in accordance with the requirements under Article 52(4) of Directive 2009/65/EC;

(89)

‘swap point’ means the difference between the exchange rate of the forward transaction and the exchange rate of the spot transaction in a foreign exchange swap, quoted according to general market conventions;

(90)

‘tap issuance’ or ‘tap issue’ means an issue forming a single series with an earlier issuance or issue;

(91)

‘TARGET2’ means the real-time gross settlement system for the euro, providing settlement of payments in euro in central bank money, regulated under Guideline ECB/2012/27;

(92)

‘tender procedure’ means a procedure whereby the Eurosystem provides liquidity to, or withdraws liquidity from, the market whereby the NCB enters into transactions by accepting bids submitted by counterparties after a public announcement;

(93)

‘trade date (T)’ means the date on which a trade, i.e. an agreement on a financial transaction between two counterparties, is struck. The trade date may coincide with the settlement date for the transaction (same-day settlement) or precede the settlement date by a specified number of business days (the settlement date is specified as T + the settlement lag);

(94)

‘traditional covered bonds’ means covered bonds, other than jumbo covered bonds, which are issued in accordance with the requirements under Article 52(4) of Directive 2009/65/EC;

(95)

‘tri-party agent’ (TPA) means an operator of an SSS that has entered into a contract with an NCB whereby such operator is to provide certain collateral management services as an agent of that NCB;

(96)

‘Union’ means the European Union;

(97)

‘valuation haircut’ means a percentage decrease applied to the market value of an asset mobilised as collateral in Eurosystem credit operations;

(98)

‘valuation markdown’ means a certain percentage decrease in the market value of assets, mobilised as collateral in Eurosystem credit operations, prior to the application of any valuation haircut;

(99)

‘variable rate tender procedure’ means a tender procedure whereby participating counterparties bid both the amount they want to transact and the interest rate, swap point or price at which they want to enter into transactions with the Eurosystem in competition with each other, and whereby the most competitive bids are satisfied first until the total amount offered is exhausted;

(100)

‘zero coupon’ means a debt instrument with no periodic coupon payments.

PART TWO

THE EUROSYSTEM MONETARY POLICY TOOLS, OPERATIONS, INSTRUMENTS AND PROCEDURES

Article 3

Eurosystem monetary policy implementation framework

1.   The tools used by the Eurosystem in the implementation of monetary policy shall consist of:

(a)

open market operations;

(b)

standing facilities;

(c)

minimum reserve requirements.

2.   The minimum reserve requirements are specified in Regulation (EC) No 2531/98 and Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9). Certain features of the minimum reserve requirements are illustrated in Annex I for information purposes.

Article 4

Indicative characteristics of the Eurosystem monetary policy operations

An overview of the characteristics of the Eurosystem monetary policy operations is set out in Table 1.

Table 1

Overview of characteristics of the Eurosystem monetary policy operations

Categories of the monetary policy operations

Types of instruments

Maturity

Frequency

Procedure

Provision of liquidity

Absorption of liquidity

Open market operations

Main refinancing operations

Reverse transactions

One week

Weekly

Standard tender procedures

Longer-term refinancing operations

Reverse transactions

Three months (*1)

Monthly (*1)

Standard tender procedures

Fine-tuning operations

Reverse transactions

Reverse transactions

Non-standardised

Non-standardised

Tender procedures

Foreign exchange swaps

Foreign exchange swaps

 

 

Bilateral procedures

 

Collection of fixed-term deposits

 

 

 

Structural operations

Reverse transactions

Reverse transactions

Non-standardised

Non-standardised

Standard tender procedures

Issuance of ECB debt certificates

Less than 12 months

Non-standardised

Outright purchases

Outright sales

Non-standardised

Tender procedures

Bilateral procedures

Standing facilities

Marginal lending facility

Reverse transactions

Overnight

Access at the discretion of counterparties

Deposit facility

Deposits

Overnight

Access at the discretion of counterparties

TITLE I

OPEN MARKET OPERATIONS

CHAPTER 1

Overview of open market operations

Article 5

Overview of categories and instruments in respect of open market operations

1.   The Eurosystem may conduct open market operations to steer interest rates, manage the liquidity situation in the financial market and signal the stance of monetary policy.

2.   Depending on their specific purpose, open market operations can be grouped under the following categories:

(a)

main refinancing operations;

(b)

longer-term refinancing operations;

(c)

fine-tuning operations;

(d)

structural operations.

3.   Open market operations shall be conducted by means of the following instruments:

(a)

reverse transactions;

(b)

foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes;

(c)

the collection of fixed-term deposits;

(d)

the issuance of ECB debt certificates;

(e)

outright transactions.

4.   As regards the specific categories of open market operations laid down in paragraph 2, the following instruments referred to in paragraph 3 shall be applicable:

(a)

MROs and LTROs are conducted exclusively by means of reverse transactions;

(b)

fine-tuning operations may be conducted by means of:

(i)

reverse transactions;

(ii)

foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes;

(iii)

the collection of fixed-term deposits;

(c)

structural operations may be conducted by means of:

(i)

reverse transactions;

(ii)

the issuance of ECB debt certificates;

(iii)

outright transactions.

5.   The ECB shall initiate open market operations and shall also decide on the terms and conditions for their execution and on the instrument to be used.

CHAPTER 2

Categories of open market operations

Article 6

Main refinancing operations

1.   The Eurosystem shall conduct MROs by means of reverse transactions.

2.   As regards their operational features, MROs:

(a)

are liquidity-providing operations;

(b)

are normally conducted each week in accordance with the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations;

(c)

normally have a maturity of one week, as indicated in the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations, subject to the exception laid down in paragraph 3;

(d)

are executed in a decentralised manner by the NCBs;

(e)

are executed by means of standard tender procedures;

(f)

are subject to the eligibility criteria laid down in Article 55 which must be fulfilled by all counterparties submitting bids for such operations;

(g)

are based on eligible assets as collateral.

3.   The maturity of MROs may differ on the grounds of varying bank holidays in Member States whose currency is the euro.

4.   The ECB's Governing Council shall decide on the interest rates for the MROs on a regular basis. The revised interest rates shall become effective from the beginning of the new reserve maintenance period.

5.   Notwithstanding paragraph 4, the ECB's Governing Council may change the interest rate for the MROs at any point in time. Such decision shall become effective at the earliest from the following Eurosystem business day.

6.   MROs are executed by means of fixed rate tender procedures or variable rate tender procedures, as decided by the Eurosystem.

Article 7

Longer-term refinancing operations

1.   The Eurosystem shall conduct LTROs by means of reverse transactions to provide counterparties with liquidity with a maturity longer than that of the MROs.

2.   As regards their operational features, LTROs:

(a)

are liquidity-providing reverse operations;

(b)

are conducted regularly each month in accordance with the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations, subject to the exception laid down in paragraph 4;

(c)

normally have a maturity of three months in accordance with the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations, subject to the exceptions laid down in paragraphs 3 and 4;

(d)

are executed in a decentralised manner by the NCBs;

(e)

are executed by means of standard tender procedures;

(f)

are subject to the eligibility criteria specified in Article 55 which must be fulfilled by all counterparties submitting bids for such operations;

(g)

are based on eligible assets as collateral.

3.   The maturity of LTROs may differ on the grounds of varying bank holidays in Member States whose currency is the euro.

4.   The Eurosystem may conduct — on a non-regular basis — LTROs with a maturity other than three months. Such operations are not specified in the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations.

5.   LTROs with a maturity of more than three months that are conducted on a non-regular basis, as referred to in paragraph 4, may have an early repayment clause. Such an early repayment clause may represent either an option or a mandatory obligation for counterparties under which they repay all or part of the amounts they were allotted in a given operation. Mandatory early repayment clauses shall be based on explicit and predefined conditions. The dates on which the early repayments become effective shall be announced by the Eurosystem at the time of the announcement of the operations. The Eurosystem may decide in exceptional circumstances to suspend early repayments on specific dates on the grounds of, inter alia, bank holidays in Member States whose currency is the euro.

6.   LTROs are executed by means of variable rate tender procedures, unless it is decided by the Eurosystem to execute them by means of a fixed-rate tender procedure. In such a case, the rate applicable to fixed-rate tender procedures may be indexed to an underlying reference rate (e.g. average MRO rate) over the life of the operation, with or without a spread.

Article 8

Fine-tuning operations

1.   The Eurosystem may conduct fine-tuning operations by means of reverse transactions, foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes or the collection of fixed-term deposits, in particular to deal with liquidity fluctuations in the market.

2.   As regards their operational features, fine-tuning operations:

(a)

may be conducted either as a liquidity-providing or as a liquidity-absorbing operation;

(b)

have a frequency and maturity that are normally not standardised;

(c)

are normally executed by means of quick tender procedures, unless the Eurosystem decides to conduct the specific fine-tuning operation by other means (standard tender procedure or bilateral procedure) in the light of specific monetary policy considerations or in order to react to market conditions;

(d)

are executed in a decentralised manner by the NCBs, without prejudice to Article 45(3);

(e)

are subject to the eligibility criteria for counterparties as specified in Part Three, depending on:

(i)

the specific type of instrument for conducting fine-tuning operations; and

(ii)

the applicable procedure for that specific type of instrument;

(f)

when conducted by means of reverse transactions, they are based on eligible assets as collateral.

3.   The ECB may conduct fine-tuning operations on any Eurosystem business day to counter liquidity imbalances in the reserve maintenance period. If the trade day, settlement day and reimbursement day are not NCB business days, the relevant NCB may not conduct such operations.

4.   The Eurosystem shall retain a high degree of flexibility as regards its choice of procedures and operational features in the conduct of fine-tuning operations, in order to react to market conditions.

Article 9

Structural operations

1.   The Eurosystem may conduct structural operations by means of reverse transactions, the issuance of ECB debt certificates or outright transactions to adjust the structural position of the Eurosystem vis-à-vis the financial system, or pursue other monetary policy implementation purposes.

2.   As regards their operational features, structural operations:

(a)

are liquidity-providing or liquidity-absorbing operations;

(b)

have a frequency and maturity that is not standardised;

(c)

are executed by means of tender or bilateral procedures, depending on the specific type of instrument for conducting the structural operation;

(d)

are executed in a decentralised manner by the NCBs;

(e)

are subject to the eligibility criteria for counterparties as specified in Part Three depending on: (i) the specific type of instrument for conducting structural operations; and (ii) the applicable procedure for that specific type of instrument;

(f)

liquidity-providing structural operations are based on eligible assets as collateral, with the exception of outright purchases.

3.   The Eurosystem shall retain a high degree of flexibility as regards its choice of procedures and operational features in the conduct of structural operations in order to react to market conditions and other structural developments.

CHAPTER 3

Instruments for open market operations

Article 10

Reverse transactions

1.   Reverse transactions are specific instruments to conduct open market operations whereby an NCB buys or sells eligible assets under a repurchase agreement or conducts credit operations in the form of collateralised loans depending on the relevant contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the NCBs.

2.   Repurchase agreements and collateralised loans shall comply with the additional requirements for such instruments set out in Part Seven.

3.   Liquidity-providing reverse transactions shall be based on eligible assets as collateral, pursuant to Part Four.

4.   The operational features of reverse transactions shall depend on the category of open market operation for which they are used.

5.   Liquidity-absorbing reverse transactions shall be based on assets provided by the Eurosystem. The eligibility criteria of those assets shall be identical to those applied for eligible assets used in liquidity-providing reverse transactions, pursuant to Part Four. No valuation haircuts shall be applied in liquidity-absorbing reverse transactions.

Article 11

Foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes

1.   Foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes consist of simultaneous spot and forward transactions in euro against a foreign currency.

2.   Foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes shall comply with the additional requirements for such instruments set out in Part Seven.

3.   Unless decided otherwise by the ECB's Governing Council, the Eurosystem shall operate only in widely traded currencies and in accordance with standard market practice.

4.   In each foreign exchange swap for monetary policy purposes, the Eurosystem and the counterparties shall agree on the swap points for the transaction that are quoted in accordance with general market conventions. The exchange rate terms of foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes are specified in Table 2.

5.   As regards their operational features, foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes:

(a)

may be conducted either as liquidity-providing or as liquidity-absorbing operations;

(b)

have a frequency and maturity that is not standardised;

(c)

are executed by means of quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures, unless the Eurosystem decides to conduct the specific operation by other means (standard tender procedure), in the light of specific monetary policy considerations or in order to react to market conditions;

(d)

are executed in a decentralised manner by the NCBs, without prejudice to Article 45(3).

6.   Counterparties participating in foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes shall be subject to the eligibility criteria specified in Part Three, depending on the applicable procedure for the relevant operation.

Table 2

The exchange rate terms of foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes

S

=

spot (on the transaction date of the foreign exchange swap) of the exchange rate between the euro (EUR) and a foreign currency ABC

Formula

FM

=

forward exchange rate between the euro and a foreign currency ABC on the repurchase date of the swap (M)

Formula

ΔΜ

=

forward points between the euro and ABC at the repurchase date of the swap (M)

Formula

N(.)

=

spot amount of currency; N(.)M is the forward amount of currency:

 

Formula
or
Formula

 

Formula
or
Formula

Article 12

Collection of fixed-term deposits

1.   The Eurosystem may invite counterparties to place fixed-term deposits with their home NCBs.

2.   The deposits accepted from counterparties shall be for a fixed term and a fixed rate of interest shall be applied.

3.   The interest rates applied to fixed-term deposits may be: (a) positive; (b) set at zero per cent; (c) negative.

4.   The interest rate applied to the fixed-term deposit shall be a simple interest rate based on the actual/360 day-count convention. The interest shall be paid at maturity of the deposit. In cases of a negative interest rate, its application to fixed-term deposits shall entail a payment obligation of the deposit holder to the home NCB, including the right of that NCB to debit the account of the counterparty accordingly. The NCBs shall not provide any collateral in exchange for the fixed-term deposits.

5.   Fixed-term deposits shall be held in accounts with the home NCB, even where such operations are to be executed in a centralised manner by the ECB under Article 45(3).

6.   As regards their operational features, the collection of fixed-term deposits:

(a)

is conducted in order to absorb liquidity;

(b)

may be conducted on the basis of a pre-announced schedule of operations with pre-defined frequency and maturity or may be conducted ad hoc to react to liquidity condition developments, e.g. the collection of fixed-term deposits may be conducted on the last day of a reserve maintenance period to counter liquidity imbalances which may have accumulated since the allotment of the last main refinancing operation;

(c)

is executed by means of quick tender procedures, unless it is decided by the ECB to conduct the specific operation by other means (bilateral procedure or standard tender procedure), in the light of specific monetary policy considerations or in order to react to market conditions;

(d)

is executed in a decentralised manner by the NCBs, without prejudice to Article 45(3).

7.   Counterparties participating in the collection of fixed term deposits shall be subject to the eligibility criteria specified in Part Three, depending on the applicable procedure for the relevant operation.

Article 13

Issuance of ECB debt certificates

1.   ECB debt certificates constitute a debt obligation of the ECB in relation to the certificate holder.

2.   ECB debt certificates shall be issued and held in book-entry form in securities depositories in Member States whose currency is the euro.

3.   The ECB shall not impose any restrictions on the transferability of ECB debt certificates.

4.   The ECB may issue ECB debt certificates at:

(a)

a discounted issue amount that is below the nominal amount; or

(b)

an amount above the nominal amount,

which are to be redeemed at maturity at a nominal amount.

The difference between the issue and the nominal (redemption) amount shall equal the interest accrued on the issue amount, at the agreed interest rate, over the maturity of the certificate. The interest rate applied shall be a simple interest rate based on the actual/360 day-count convention. The calculation of the issue amount shall be made in accordance with Table 3.

Table 3

Issuance of ECB debt certificates

The issue amount is:

Formula

where:

N

=

nominal amount of the ECB debt certificate

rI

=

interest rate (in %)

D

=

maturity of the ECB debt certificate (in days)

PT

=

issue amount of the ECB debt certificate

5.   As regards the operational features of ECB debt certificates:

(a)

they are issued as a liquidity-absorbing open market operation;

(b)

they may be issued on a regular or a non-regular basis;

(c)

they have a maturity that is less than 12 months;

(d)

they are issued by means of standard tender procedures;

(e)

they are tendered and settled in a decentralised manner by the NCBs.

6.   Counterparties participating in the standard tender procedure for the issuance of ECB debt certificates shall be subject to the eligibility criteria specified in Part Three.

Article 14

Outright transactions

1.   An outright transaction shall involve a full transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer with no connected reverse transfer of ownership.

2.   In the execution of outright transactions and the calculation of prices, the Eurosystem shall act in accordance with the most widely accepted market convention for the debt instruments used in the transaction.

3.   As regards their operational features, outright transactions:

(a)

may be conducted as liquidity-providing operations (outright purchases) or liquidity-absorbing operations (outright sales);

(b)

have a frequency that is not standardised;

(c)

are executed by means of bilateral procedures, unless the ECB decides to conduct the specific operation by quick or standard tender procedures;

(d)

are executed in a decentralised manner by the NCBs, without prejudice to Article 45(3);

(e)

are based only on eligible marketable assets as specified in Part Four.

4.   Counterparties participating in outright transactions shall be subject to the eligibility criteria specified in Part Three.

Article 15

Obligations of collateralisation and settlement in reverse transactions and foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes

1.   With regard to liquidity-providing reverse transactions and liquidity-providing foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes, counterparties shall:

(a)

transfer a sufficient amount of eligible assets in the case of reverse transactions or the corresponding foreign currency amount in the case of foreign exchange swaps to settle on the settlement day;

(b)

ensure adequate collateralisation of the operation until its maturity;

(c)

when applicable as regards point (b), provide adequate collateralisation by way of corresponding margin calls by means of sufficient eligible assets or cash.

2.   With regard to liquidity-absorbing reverse transactions and liquidity-absorbing foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes, counterparties shall:

(a)

transfer a sufficient amount of cash to settle the amounts they have been allotted in the relevant liquidity absorbing operation;

(b)

ensure adequate collateralisation of the operation until its maturity;

(c)

when applicable as regards point (b), provide adequate collateralisation by way of corresponding margin calls by means of sufficient eligible assets or cash.

3.   The failure to meet the requirements referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be sanctioned, as applicable, under Articles 154 to 157.

Article 16

Obligations for settlement for outright purchases and sales, the collection of fixed-term deposits and the issuance of ECB debt certificates

1.   In open market operations executed by means of outright purchases and sales, collection of fixed term deposits and issuance of ECB debt certificates, counterparties shall transfer a sufficient amount of eligible assets or cash to settle the amount agreed in the transaction.

2.   The failure to meet the requirement as referred to in paragraph 1 shall be sanctioned, as applicable, under Articles 154 to 157.

TITLE II

STANDING FACILITIES

Article 17

Standing facilities

1.   The NCBs shall grant access to the standing facilities offered by the Eurosystem at their counterparties' initiative.

2.   Standing facilities shall consist of the following categories:

(a)

the marginal lending facility;

(b)

the deposit facility.

3.   The terms and conditions of the standing facilities shall be identical in all Member States whose currency is the euro.

4.   The NCBs shall only grant access to the standing facilities in accordance with the ECB's objectives and general monetary policy considerations.

5.   The ECB may adapt the conditions of the standing facilities or suspend them at any time.

6.   The ECB's Governing Council shall decide on the interest rates for the standing facilities on a regular basis. The revised interest rates shall become effective from the beginning of the new reserve maintenance period, as defined in Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9). The ECB publishes a calendar of the reserve maintenance periods at least three months before the start of each calendar year.

7.   Notwithstanding paragraph 6, the ECB's Governing Council may change the interest rate for the standing facilities at any point in time. Such decision shall become effective at the earliest from the following Eurosystem business day.

CHAPTER 1

Marginal lending facility

Article 18

Characteristics of the marginal lending facility

1.   Counterparties may use the marginal lending facility to obtain overnight liquidity from the Eurosystem through a reverse transaction with their home NCB at a pre-specified interest rate using eligible assets as collateral.

2.   The NCBs shall provide liquidity under the marginal lending facility by means of repurchase agreements or collateralised loans under the NCBs' applicable contractual or regulatory arrangements.

3.   There shall be no limit on the amount of liquidity that may be provided under the marginal lending facility, subject to the requirement to provide adequate collateral under paragraph 4.

4.   Counterparties are required to present sufficient eligible assets as collateral prior to using the marginal lending facility. These assets should be either pre-deposited with the relevant NCB or delivered with the request for access to the marginal lending facility.

Article 19

Access conditions for the marginal lending facility

1.   Institutions fulfilling the eligibility criteria under Article 55 and which have access to an account with the NCB where the transaction can be settled, notably in TARGET2, may access the marginal lending facility.

2.   Access to the marginal lending facility shall be granted only on days when TARGET2 is operational. On days when the SSSs are not operational, access to the marginal lending facility shall be granted on the basis of eligible assets which have already been pre-deposited with the NCBs.

3.   If an NCB or any of its branches are not open for the purpose of conducting monetary policy operations on certain Eurosystem business days due to national or regional bank holidays, the home NCB shall inform its counterparties in advance of the arrangements to be made for access to the marginal lending facility on that bank holiday.

4.   Access to the marginal lending facility can be granted either based on a specific request of the counterparty or automatically, as specified in paragraph 5 and 6 respectively.

5.   A counterparty may send a request to its home NCB for access to the marginal lending facility. Provided that the request is received by the home NCB at the latest 15 minutes following the TARGET2 closing time, the NCB shall process the request on the same day in TARGET2. The deadline for requesting access to the marginal lending facility shall be postponed by an additional 15 minutes on the last Eurosystem business day of a reserve maintenance period. The request for access to the marginal lending facility shall specify the amount of credit required. The counterparty shall deliver sufficient eligible assets as collateral for the transaction, unless such assets have already been pre-deposited by the counterparty with the home NCB pursuant to Article 18(4).

6.   At the end of each business day, a negative balance on a counterparty's settlement account with its home NCB after finalisation of the end-of-day control procedures shall automatically be considered as a request for recourse to the marginal lending facility. In order to meet the requirement in Article 18(4), counterparties shall have pre-deposited sufficient eligible assets as collateral for the transaction with the home NCB prior to such an automatic request arising. Failure to comply with this access condition shall be subject to sanctions in accordance with Articles 154 to 157.

Article 20

Maturity and interest rate of the marginal lending facility

1.   The maturity of credit extended under the marginal lending facility shall be overnight. For counterparties participating directly in TARGET2, the credit shall be repaid on the next day on which: (a) TARGET2; and (b) the relevant SSSs are operational, at the time at which those systems open.

2.   The interest rate remunerating the marginal lending facility shall be announced in advance by the Eurosystem and shall be calculated as a simple interest rate based on the actual/360 day-count convention. The interest rate applied to the marginal lending facility is referred to as the marginal lending facility rate.

3.   Interest under the marginal lending facility shall be payable together with repayment of the credit.

CHAPTER 2

Deposit facility

Article 21

Characteristics of the deposit facility

1.   Counterparties may use the deposit facility to make overnight deposits with the Eurosystem through the home NCB, to which a pre-specified interest rate shall be applied.

2.   The interest rate applied to the deposit facility may be: (a) positive; (b) set at zero per cent; (c) negative.

3.   The NCBs shall not give any collateral in exchange for the deposits.

4.   There shall be no limit on the amount a counterparty may deposit under the deposit facility.

Article 22

Access conditions to the deposit facility

1.   Institutions fulfilling the eligibility criteria under Article 55 and which have access to an account with the NCB where the transaction can be settled, notably in TARGET2, may access the deposit facility. Access to the deposit facility shall be granted only on days when TARGET2 is operational.

2.   To be granted access to the deposit facility, the counterparty shall send a request to its home NCB. Provided that the request is received by the home NCB at the latest 15 minutes following the TARGET2 closing time, the home NCB shall process the request on the same day in TARGET2. The deadline for requesting access to the deposit facility shall be postponed by an additional 15 minutes on the last Eurosystem business day of a reserve maintenance period. The request shall specify the amount to be deposited under the facility.

3.   Due to the existence of different account structures across the NCBs, the NCBs, subject to the ECB's prior approval, may apply access conditions which are different from those referred to in this Article. The NCBs shall provide information to the counterparties on any such deviations from the access conditions described in this Article.

Article 23

Maturity and interest rate of the deposit facility

1.   The maturity of deposits under the deposit facility shall be overnight. For counterparties participating directly in TARGET2, deposits held under the deposit facility shall mature on the next day on which TARGET2 is operational, at the time at which this system opens.

2.   The interest rate that applies to the deposit shall be announced in advance by the Eurosystem and shall be calculated as a simple interest rate based on the actual/360 day-count convention.

3.   Interest on the deposits shall be payable on maturity of the deposit. In cases of negative interest rates, the application of the interest rate to the deposit facility shall entail a payment obligation of the deposit holder to the home NCB, including the right of that NCB to debit the account of the counterparty accordingly.

TITLE III

PROCEDURES FOR EUROSYSTEM MONETARY POLICY OPERATIONS

CHAPTER 1

Tender and bilateral procedures for Eurosystem open market operations

Article 24

Types of procedures for open market operations

Open market operations shall be executed through tender procedures or bilateral procedures.

Section 1

Tender Procedures

Article 25

Overview of tender procedures

1.   Tender procedures shall be performed in six operational steps, as specified in Table 4.

Table 4

Operational steps for tender procedures

Step 1

Tender announcement

(a)

Announcement by the ECB through public wire services and the ECB's website

(b)

Announcement by the NCBs through national wire services and directly to individual counterparties (if deemed necessary)

Step 2

Counterparties' preparation and submission of bids

Step 3

Compilation of bids by the Eurosystem

Step 4

Tender allotment and announcement of tender results

(a)

ECB allotment decision

(b)

Announcement of the allotment results through public wire services and the ECB's website

Step 5

Certification of individual allotment results

Step 6

Settlement of the transactions

2.   Tender procedures shall be conducted in the form of standard tender procedures or quick tender procedures. The operational features of standard and quick tender procedures are identical, except for the time frame (Tables 5 and 6) and the range of counterparties.

Table 5

Indicative time frame for the operational steps in standard tender procedures (times are stated in Central European Time  (12) )

Image 1

11.15 a.m.

Announcement of tender results

11 a.m.

10 a.m.

9 a.m.

4 p.m.

T+1

Trade day (T)

T-1

9.30 a.m.

Deadline for counterparties' submission of bids

3.30 p.m.

Tender announcement

Table 6

Indicative time frame for the operational steps in quick tender procedures (times are stated in CET)

Image 2

Announcement of tender results

Deadline for counterparties' submission of bids

Tender announcement

4th hour

3rd hour

1st hour

2nd hour

Trade day (T)

3.   The Eurosystem may conduct either fixed-rate or variable rate tender procedures.

Article 26

Standard tender procedures

1.   The Eurosystem shall use standard tender procedures for the execution of: (a) MROs; (b) LTROs; (c) specific structural operations, i.e. structural reverse operations and the issuance of ECB debt certificates.

2.   The Eurosystem may also use standard tender procedures to conduct fine-tuning operations and structural operations executed by means of outright transactions in the light of specific monetary policy considerations or in order to react to market conditions.

3.   For standard tender procedures, as a rule: (a) a maximum of 24 hours shall elapse from the announcement of the tender procedure to the certification of the allotment result; and (b) the time between the submission deadline and the announcement of the allotment result is approximately two hours.

4.   The ECB may decide to adjust the time frame in individual operations, if deemed appropriate.

Article 27

Quick tender procedures

1.   The Eurosystem normally uses quick tender procedures for the execution of fine-tuning operations, but may also use quick tender procedures for structural operations executed by means of outright transactions in the light of specific monetary policy considerations or in order to react to market conditions.

2.   Quick tender procedures are executed within 105 minutes of the announcement of the tender procedure, with certification taking place immediately after the public announcement of the allotment result.

3.   The ECB may decide to adjust the time frame in individual operations, if deemed appropriate.

4.   The Eurosystem may select, according to the criteria and procedures specified in Article 57, a limited number of counterparties to participate in quick tender procedures.

Article 28

Execution of standard tender procedures for MROs and regular LTROs, based on the tender calendar

1.   The tender procedures for MROs and regular LTROs shall be executed in accordance with the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations.

2.   The indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations is published on the website of the ECB and NCBs at least three months before the start of the calendar year for which it is valid.

3.   The indicative trade days for MROs and regular LTROs are specified in Table 7.

Table 7

Normal trade days for MROs and regular LTROs

Category of open market operations

Normal trade day (T)

MROs

Each Tuesday (*2)

Regular LTROs

The last Wednesday of each calendar month (*3)

Article 29

Execution of tender procedures for fine-tuning and structural operations without a tender operation calendar

1.   Fine-tuning operations are not executed according to any pre-specified calendar. The ECB may decide to conduct fine-tuning operations on any Eurosystem business day. Only NCBs in relation to which the trade day, the settlement day and the reimbursement day are NCB business days participate in such operations.

2.   Structural operations executed by means of standard tender procedures are not performed according to any pre-specified calendar. They are normally conducted and settled on days which are NCB business days in all Member States whose currency is the euro.

Section 2

Operational steps for tender procedures

Subsection 1

Announcement of tender procedures

Article 30

Announcement of standard and quick tender procedures

1.   Standard tender procedures shall be announced by the ECB publicly in advance by means of wire services and on the ECB's website. In addition, the NCBs may announce standard tender procedures via national wire services and directly to counterparties, if deemed necessary.

2.   Quick tender procedures may be announced by the ECB publicly in advance by means of wire services and on the ECB's website. In quick tender procedures that are publicly announced in advance, the NCB may contact the selected counterparties directly if deemed necessary. In quick tender procedures that are not announced publicly in advance, the selected counterparties shall be contacted directly by the NCBs.

3.   The tender announcement represents an invitation to counterparties to submit bids, which are legally binding. The announcement does not represent an offer by the ECB or the NCBs.

4.   The information to be included in the public announcement of a tender procedure is laid down in Annex II.

5.   The ECB may take any action it deems appropriate to correct any error in the announcement of tender procedures, including cancelling or interrupting a tender procedure under execution.

Subsection 2

Preparation and submission of bids by counterparties

Article 31

Form and place of submission of bids

1.   The bids must be submitted to a counterparty's home NCB. The bids of an institution may only be submitted to the home NCB by one establishment in each Member State whose currency is the euro where the institution is established, i.e. either by the head office or by a designated branch.

2.   Counterparties shall submit bids in a format that follows the templates provided by the NCB for the relevant operation.

Article 32

Submission of bids

1.   In fixed-rate tender procedures, counterparties shall state in their bids the amount that they are willing to transact with the NCBs.

2.   In fixed-rate foreign exchange swap tender procedures, the counterparties shall state the amount of currency kept fixed that they intend to sell and buy back, or buy and sell back, at that rate.

3.   In variable rate tender procedures, counterparties may submit bids for up to 10 different interest rates, prices or swap points. Under exceptional circumstances, the Eurosystem may impose a limit on the number of bids that may be submitted by each counterparty. In each bid, counterparties shall state the amount that they are willing to transact and the relevant interest rate or price or swap point. A bid for an interest rate or swap point shall be expressed as multiples of 0,01 percentage points. A bid for a price shall be expressed as multiples of 0,001 percentage points.

4.   For variable rate foreign exchange swap tender procedures, the counterparties shall state the amount of the currency to be kept fixed and the swap point quotation at which they intend to enter into the operation.

5.   For variable rate foreign exchange swap tender procedures, the swap points shall be quoted in accordance with standard market conventions and bids shall be expressed as multiples of 0,01 swap points.

6.   With regard to the issuance of ECB debt certificates, the ECB may decide that bids shall be expressed in the form of a price rather than an interest rate. In such cases, prices shall be quoted as a percentage of the nominal amount, with three decimal places.

Article 33

Minimum and maximum bid amounts

1.   For MROs, the minimum bid amount shall be EUR 1 000 000. Bids exceeding this amount shall be expressed as multiples of EUR 100 000. The minimum bid amount shall apply to each individual interest rate level.

2.   For LTROs, each NCB shall set a minimum bid amount in the range from EUR 10 000 to EUR 1 000 000. Bids exceeding the minimum bid amount shall be expressed as multiples of EUR 10 000. The minimum bid amount shall be applied to each individual interest rate level.

3.   For fine-tuning and structural operations, the minimum bid amount shall be EUR 1 000 000. Bids exceeding this amount shall be expressed as multiples of EUR 100 000. The minimum bid amount shall apply to each individual interest rate, price or swap point, depending on the specific type of transaction.

4.   The ECB may impose a maximum bid amount, which is the largest acceptable bid from an individual counterparty, to prevent disproportionately large bids. If imposed, the ECB shall include details of such a maximum bid amount in the public tender announcement.

Article 34

Minimum and maximum bid rate

1.   In liquidity-providing variable rate tender procedures, the ECB may impose a minimum bid rate, which is a lower limit to the interest rate at which counterparties may submit bids.

2.   In liquidity-absorbing variable rate tender procedures, the ECB may impose a maximum bid rate, which is an upper limit to the interest rate at which counterparties may submit bids.

Article 35

Deadline for submission of bids

1.   Counterparties may revoke their bids at any time up to the deadline for the submission of bids.

2.   Bids submitted after the deadline shall not be considered and shall be treated as ineligible.

3.   The home NCB shall determine if a counterparty has complied with the deadline for the submission of bids.

Article 36

Rejection of bids

1.   An NCB shall reject:

(a)

all of a counterparty's bids, if the aggregate amount bid exceeds any maximum bid limit established by the ECB;

(b)

any bid of a counterparty, if the bid is below the minimum bid amount;

(c)

any bid of a counterparty, if the bid is below the minimum accepted interest rate, price, or swap point or above the maximum accepted interest rate, price or swap point.

2.   An NCB may reject bids that are incomplete or do not follow the appropriate template.

3.   If the home NCB decides to reject a bid, it shall inform the counterparty of such decision prior to the tender allotment.

Subsection 3

Tender allotment

Article 37

Allotment in liquidity-providing and liquidity-absorbing fixed-rate tender procedures

1.   In a fixed-rate tender procedure, the bids of counterparties shall be allotted in the following manner:

(a)

The bids shall be added together.

(b)

If the aggregate amount bid exceeds the total amount of liquidity to be allotted, the submitted bids shall be satisfied pro rata, based on the ratio of the amount to be allotted to the aggregate amount bid, in accordance with Table 1 of Annex III.

(c)

The amount allotted to each counterparty shall be rounded to the nearest euro.

2.   The ECB may decide to allot:

(a)

a minimum allotment amount, which is a lower limit on the amount that may be allotted to each bidder; or

(b)

a minimum allotment ratio, which is a lower limit, expressed in percentage terms, on the ratio of bids at the marginal interest rate that may be allotted to each bidder.

Article 38

Allotment in liquidity-providing variable rate tender procedures in euro

1.   In a liquidity-providing variable rate tender procedure in euro, the bids of counterparties shall be allotted in the following manner:

(a)

Bids shall be listed in descending order of offered interest rates or ascending order of offered prices.

(b)

Bids with the highest interest rate (lowest price) levels shall be satisfied first and subsequently bids with successively lower interest rates (higher price) shall be accepted, until the total liquidity to be allotted is exhausted.

(c)

If at the marginal interest rate (highest accepted price), the aggregate amount bid exceeds the remaining amount to be allotted, the remaining amount shall be allocated pro rata among the bids based on the ratio of the remaining amount to be allotted to the total amount bid at the marginal interest rate (highest accepted price), in accordance with Table 2 of Annex III.

(d)

The amount allotted to each counterparty shall be rounded to the nearest euro.

2.   The ECB may decide to allot a minimum allotment amount to each successful bidder.

Article 39

Allotment in liquidity-absorbing variable rate tender procedures in euro

1.   In a liquidity-absorbing variable rate tender procedure in euro, used for the issuance of ECB debt certificates and the collection of fixed term deposits, the bids of counterparties shall be allotted in the following manner:

(a)

Bids shall be listed in ascending order of offered interest rates or descending order of offered prices.

(b)

Bids with the lowest interest rate (highest price) levels shall be satisfied first and subsequently bids with successively higher interest rates (lower price bids) shall be accepted until the total liquidity to be absorbed is exhausted.

(c)

If at the marginal interest rate (lowest accepted price), the aggregate bid amount exceeds the remaining amount to be allotted, the remaining amount shall be allocated pro rata among the bids, based on the ratio of the remaining amount to be allotted to the total bid amount at the marginal interest rate (lowest accepted price), in accordance with Table 2 of Annex III.

(d)

The amount allotted to each counterparty shall be rounded to the nearest euro. With regard to the issuance of ECB debt certificates, the allotted nominal amount shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of EUR 100 000.

2.   The ECB may decide to allot a minimum allotment amount to each successful bidder.

Article 40

Allotment in liquidity-providing variable rate foreign exchange swap tender procedures

1.   In a liquidity-providing variable rate foreign exchange swap tender procedure, the bids of counterparties shall be allotted in the following manner:

(a)

Bids shall be listed in ascending order of swap point quotations by taking into account the sign of the quotation.

(b)

The sign of quotation depends on the sign of the interest rate differential between the foreign currency and the euro. For the maturity of the swap:

(i)

if the foreign currency interest rate is higher than the corresponding interest rate for the euro, the swap point quotation is positive, i.e. the euro is quoted at a premium to the foreign currency; and

(ii)

if the foreign currency interest rate is lower than the corresponding interest rate for the euro, the swap point quotation is negative, i.e. the euro is quoted at a discount to the foreign currency.

(c)

The bids with the lowest swap point quotations shall be satisfied first and subsequently successively higher swap point quotations shall be accepted until the total amount of the fixed currency to be allotted is exhausted.

(d)

If, at the highest swap point quotation accepted, i.e. the marginal swap point quotation, the aggregate amount bid exceeds the remaining amount to be allotted, the remaining amount shall be allocated pro rata among the bids, based on the ratio of the remaining amount to be allotted to the total amount bid at the marginal swap point quotation, in accordance with Table 3 of Annex III.

(e)

The amount allotted to each counterparty shall be rounded to the nearest euro.

2.   The ECB may decide to allot a minimum allotment amount to each successful bidder.

Article 41

Allotment in liquidity-absorbing variable rate foreign exchange swap tender procedures

1.   In a liquidity-absorbing variable rate foreign exchange swap tender procedure, the bids of counterparties shall be allotted in the following manner:

(a)

Bids shall be listed in descending order of offered swap point quotations by taking into account the sign of the quotation.

(b)

The sign of the quotation depends on the sign of the interest rate differential between the foreign currency and the euro. For the maturity of the swap:

(i)

if the foreign currency interest rate is higher than the corresponding interest rate for the euro, the swap point quotation is positive, i.e. the euro is quoted at a premium to the foreign currency; and

(ii)

if the foreign currency interest rate is lower than the corresponding interest rate for the euro, the swap point quotation is negative, i.e. the euro is quoted at a discount to the foreign currency.

(c)

Bids with the highest swap point quotations shall be satisfied first and subsequently successively lower swap point quotations shall be accepted until:

(i)

the total amount of the fixed currency to be absorbed is exhausted; and

(ii)

at the lowest swap point quotation accepted, i.e. the marginal swap point quotation, the aggregate amount bid exceeds the remaining amount to be allotted.

(d)

The remaining amount shall be allocated pro rata among the bids, based on the ratio of the remaining amount to be allotted to the total amount bid at the marginal swap point quotation, in accordance with Table 3 of Annex III. The amount allotted to each counterparty shall be rounded to the nearest euro.

2.   The ECB may decide to allot a minimum allotment amount to each successful bidder.

Article 42

Type of auction for variable rate tender procedures

For variable rate tender procedures, the Eurosystem may apply either a single rate auction (Dutch auction) or multiple rate auction (American auction).

Subsection 4

Announcement of tender results

Article 43

Announcement of tender results

1.   The ECB shall publicly announce its tender allotment decision with respect to the tender results by means of wire services and on the ECB's website. In addition, the NCBs may announce the ECB's tender allotment decision through national wire services and directly to counterparties if they deem it necessary.

2.   The information to be included in the public announcement with respect to the tender results is laid down in Annex IV.

3.   If the allotment decision contains erroneous information with respect to any of the information contained in the public tender result announcement referred to in paragraph 1, the ECB may take any action it deems appropriate to correct such erroneous information.

4.   After the public announcement of the ECB's tender allotment decision on the tender results as referred to in paragraph 1, the NCBs shall directly certify the individual allotment results to counterparties, whereby each counterparty shall receive an individual and certain confirmation of its success in the tender procedure and the exact amount allotted to it.

Section 3

Bilateral procedures for Eurosystem open market operations

Article 44

Overview of bilateral procedures

1.   The Eurosystem may execute any of the following open market operations by means of bilateral procedures:

(a)

fine-tuning operations (reverse transactions, foreign exchange swaps or the collection of fixed-term deposits); or

(b)

structural operations (outright transactions).

2.   Bilateral procedures, depending on the specific transaction, may be executed by means of direct contact with counterparties, as laid down in Article 45, or through stock exchanges and market agents, as laid down in Article 46.

Article 45

Bilateral procedures executed by means of direct contact with counterparties

1.   Bilateral procedures for fine-tuning operations and structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions may be executed by means of direct contact with counterparties.

2.   The NCBs shall directly contact one or more institutions selected in accordance with the eligibility criteria laid down in Article 57. The NCBs shall follow the ECB's instructions in deciding whether to enter into a transaction with those institutions.

3.   Without prejudice to paragraph 2, the ECB's Governing Council may decide that, under exceptional circumstances, the ECB or one or more NCBs, acting as the ECB's operating arm, shall conduct fine-tuning operations or structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions executed through bilateral procedures. In such an event, the procedures for those operations shall be adapted accordingly. The ECB shall decide whether to enter into a transaction with the contacted institutions.

Article 46

Bilateral procedures executed by means of stock exchanges and market agents

1.   Without prejudice to Article 45, bilateral procedures for structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions may be executed through stock exchanges and market agents.

2.   The range of counterparties shall not be restricted, as provided for in Article 57.

3.   The procedures shall be adapted to the market conventions for the debt instruments transacted.

Article 47

Announcement of operations executed by means of bilateral procedures

1.   Fine-tuning operations or structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions executed by means of bilateral procedures are not announced publicly in advance, unless the ECB decides otherwise.

2.   The ECB may decide not to announce the results of such bilateral procedures publicly.

Article 48

Operating days for bilateral procedures

1.   The ECB may decide to conduct bilateral procedures for fine-tuning operations on any Eurosystem business day. Only NCBs in relation to which the trade day, the settlement day and the reimbursement day are NCB business days may participate in such operations.

2.   Bilateral procedures for structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions are normally executed and settled on days which are NCB business days in all Member States whose currency is the euro.

CHAPTER 2

Settlement procedures for Eurosystem monetary policy operations

Article 49

Overview of settlement procedures

1.   Payment orders relating to the participation in open market operations or use of the standing facilities shall be settled on the counterparties' accounts with an NCB or on the accounts of a settlement bank participating in TARGET2.

2.   Payment orders relating to the participation in open market liquidity-providing operations or use of the marginal lending facility shall only be settled at the moment of or after the final transfer of the eligible assets as collateral to the operation. For this purpose, counterparties shall:

(a)

pre-deposit the eligible assets at an NCB; or

(b)

settle the eligible assets with an NCB on a delivery-versus-payment basis.

Article 50

Settlement of open market operations

1.   The Eurosystem shall endeavour to settle transactions related to its open market operations at the same time in all Member States whose currency is the euro with all counterparties that have provided sufficient eligible assets as collateral. However, owing to operational constraints and technical features (e.g. of SSSs), the timing within the day of the settlement of open market operations may differ across the Member States whose currency is the euro.

2.   The indicative settlement dates are summarised in Table 8.

Table 8

Indicative settlement dates for Eurosystem open market operations  (*4)

Monetary policy instrument

Settlement date for open market operations based on standard tender procedures

Settlement date for open market operations based on quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures

Reverse transactions

T + 1

T

Outright transactions

According to market convention for the eligible assets

Issuance of ECB debt certificates

T + 2

Foreign exchange swaps

T, T + 1 or T + 2

Collection of fixed-term deposits

T

Article 51

Settlement of open market operations executed by means of standard tender procedures

1.   The Eurosystem shall endeavour to settle open market operations executed by means of standard tender procedures, on the first day following the trade day on which TARGET2 and all relevant SSSs are open.

2.   The settlement dates for MROs and regular LTROs are specified in advance in the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem's regular tender operations. If the normal settlement date coincides with a bank holiday, the ECB may decide to apply a different settlement date, with the option of same-day settlement. The Eurosystem shall endeavour to ensure that the time of settlement of MROs and regular LTROs coincides with the time of reimbursement of a previous operation of corresponding maturity.

3.   The issuance of ECB debt certificates shall be settled on the second day following the trade day on which TARGET2 and all relevant SSSs are open.

Article 52

Settlement of open market operations conducted by means of quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures

1.   The Eurosystem shall endeavour to settle open market operations executed by means of quick tender procedures and bilateral procedures on the trade day. Other settlement dates may be applied, in particular for outright transactions and foreign exchange swaps.

2.   Fine-tuning operations and structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions executed by means of bilateral procedures shall be settled in a decentralised manner through the NCBs.

Article 53

Further provisions relating to settlement and end-of-day procedures

1.   Without prejudice to the requirements laid down in this Chapter, additional provisions relating to settlement may be laid down in the contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the NCBs, or the ECB, for the specific monetary policy instrument.

2.   The end-of-day procedures are specified in the documentation relating to the TARGET2 framework.

Article 54

Reserve holdings and excess reserves

1.   Pursuant to Article 6(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9), a counterparty's settlement account with an NCB may be used as a reserve account. Reserve holdings on settlement accounts may be used for intraday settlement purposes. The daily reserve holding of a counterparty shall be calculated as the end-of-day balance on its reserve account. For the purposes of this Article, ‘reserve account’ shall have the same meaning as that in Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9).

2.   Reserve holdings that exceed the minimum reserves required pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 2531/98 and Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9) shall be remunerated at zero per cent or the deposit facility rate, whichever is lower.

PART THREE

ELIGIBLE COUNTERPARTIES

Article 55

Eligibility criteria for participation in Eurosystem monetary policy operations

With regard to Eurosystem monetary policy operations, subject to Article 57, the Eurosystem shall only allow participation by institutions that fulfil the criteria laid down in this Article.

(a)

They shall be subject to the Eurosystem's minimum reserve system pursuant to Article 19.1 of the Statute of the ESCB and shall not have been granted an exemption from their obligations under the Eurosystem's minimum reserve system pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 2531/98 and Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 (ECB/2003/9).

(b)

They must be financially sound.

(c)

They shall be one of the following:

(i)

subject to at least one form of harmonised Union/EEA supervision by competent authorities in accordance with Directive 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;

(ii)

publicly-owned credit institutions, within the meaning of Article 123(2) of the Treaty, subject to supervision of a standard comparable to supervision by competent authorities under Directive 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;

(iii)

institutions subject to non-harmonised supervision by competent authorities of a standard comparable to harmonised Union/EEA supervision by competent authorities under Directive 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, e.g. branches established in Member States whose currency is the euro of institutions incorporated outside the EEA;

(d)

They shall fulfil any operational requirements specified in the contractual or regulatory arrangements applied by the home NCB or ECB in respect of the specific instrument or operation.

Article 56

Access to open market operations executed by means of standard tender procedures and to standing facilities

1.   Institutions fulfilling the eligibility criteria under Article 55 shall have access to any of the following Eurosystem monetary policy operations:

(a)

standing facilities;

(b)

open market operations executed by means of standard tender procedures.

2.   Access to the standing facilities or open market operations executed by means of standard tender procedures shall only be granted to institutions fulfilling the eligibility criteria under Article 55 through their home NCB.

3.   Where an institution fulfilling the eligibility criteria under Article 55 has establishments, e.g. head office or branches, in more than one Member State whose currency is the euro, each establishment fulfilling the eligibility criteria under Article 55 may access the standing facilities or the open market operations executed by means of standard tender procedures through its home NCB.

4.   Bids for open market operations executed by means of standard tender procedures and for recourse to the standing facilities shall be submitted by only one establishment in each Member State whose currency is the euro, i.e. either by the head office or by a designated branch.

Article 57

Selection of counterparties for access to open market operations executed by means of quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures

1.   For open market operations executed by means of quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures, counterparties shall be selected in accordance with paragraphs 2 to 4.

2.   For structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions that are executed by means of bilateral procedures, there shall be no restriction on the range of counterparties. For structural operations conducted by means of outright transactions, which are executed by means of quick tender procedures, the eligibility criteria laid down in Article 57(3)(b) shall apply.

3.   For fine-tuning operations that are executed by means of quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures, counterparties shall be selected as follows:

(a)

For fine-tuning operations that are conducted by means of foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes and executed by means of quick tender or bilateral procedures, the range of counterparties shall be identical to the range of entities that are selected for Eurosystem foreign exchange intervention operations and are established in the Member States whose currency is the euro. Counterparties for foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes by means of quick tender or bilateral procedures do not need to fulfil the criteria laid down in Article 55. The selection criteria for counterparties participating in Eurosystem foreign exchange intervention operations are based on the principles of prudence and efficiency, as laid down in Annex V. The NCBs may apply limit-based systems in order to control credit exposures vis-à-vis individual counterparties participating in foreign exchange swaps for monetary policy purposes.

(b)

For fine-tuning operations conducted by means of reverse transactions or through the collection of fixed-term deposits and executed by means of quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures, each NCB shall select, for a specific transaction, a set of counterparties from among the institutions that fulfil the eligibility criteria laid down in Article 55 and are established in its Member State whose currency is the euro. The selection shall be primarily based on the relevant institution's activity in the money market. Additional selection criteria may be applied by the NCB, such as the efficiency of the trading desk and the bidding potential.

4.   If the ECB's Governing Council, pursuant to Article 45(3), decides that the ECB shall conduct, by itself or by means of one or more NCBs fine-tuning operations executed by means of bilateral procedures, the ECB shall select its counterparties in accordance with a rotation scheme among the counterparties that are eligible to participate in quick tender procedures and bilateral procedures.

5.   Without prejudice to paragraphs 1 to 4, open market operations executed by means of quick tender procedures or bilateral procedures may also be conducted with a broader range of counterparties than those indicated in paragraphs 2 to 4, if the ECB's Governing Council so decides.

PART FOUR

ELIGIBLE ASSETS

TITLE I

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Article 58

Eligible assets and accepted collateralisation techniques to be used for Eurosystem credit operations

1.   The Eurosystem shall apply a single framework for eligible assets common to all Eurosystem credit operations as laid down in this Guideline.

2.   In order to participate in Eurosystem credit operations, counterparties shall provide the Eurosystem with assets that are eligible as collateral for such operations. Given that Eurosystem credit operations include intraday credit, collateral provided by counterparties in respect of intraday credit shall also comply with the eligibility criteria laid down in this Guideline, as outlined in Guideline ECB/2012/27.

3.   Counterparties shall provide eligible assets by:

(a)

the transfer of ownership, which takes the legal form of a repurchase agreement; or

(b)

the creation of a security interest, i.e. a pledge, assignment or a charge granted over the relevant assets, which takes the legal form of a collateralised loan,

in either case pursuant to the national contractual or regulatory arrangements established and documented by the home NCB.

4.   Where counterparties provide eligible assets as collateral, the home NCB may require either earmarking or pooling of eligible assets, depending on which type of collateral management system it uses.

5.   No distinction shall be made between marketable and non-marketable assets with regard to the quality of the assets and their eligibility for the various types of Eurosystem credit operations.

6.   Without prejudice to the obligation in paragraph 2 that counterparties provide the Eurosystem with assets that are eligible as collateral, the Eurosystem may, upon request, provide counterparties with advice regarding the eligibility of marketable assets if they have already been issued or regarding the eligibility of non-marketable assets when they have already been requested for submission. The Eurosystem shall not provide any advice in advance of these events.

Article 59

General aspects of the Eurosystem credit assessment framework for eligible assets

1.   As one of the criteria for eligibility, assets shall meet the high credit standards specified in the Eurosystem credit assessment framework (ECAF).

2.   The ECAF shall lay down the procedures, rules and techniques to ensure that the Eurosystem's requirement for high credit standards for eligible assets is maintained and that eligible assets comply with the credit quality requirements defined by the Eurosystem.

3.   For the purposes of the ECAF, the Eurosystem shall define credit quality requirements in the form of credit quality steps by establishing threshold values for the probability of default (PD) over a one-year horizon, as follows.

(a)

The Eurosystem considers, subject to regular review, a maximum probability of default over a one-year horizon of 0,10 % as equivalent to the credit quality requirement of credit quality step 2 and a maximum probability of default over a one-year horizon of 0,40 % as equivalent to the credit quality requirement of credit quality step 3.

(b)

All eligible assets for Eurosystem credit operations shall comply, as a minimum, with a credit quality requirement corresponding to credit quality step 3. Additional credit quality requirements for specific assets shall be applied by the Eurosystem in accordance with Titles II and III of Part Four.

4.   The Eurosystem shall publish information on credit quality steps on the ECB website in the form of the Eurosystem's harmonised rating scale, including the mapping of credit assessments, provided by the accepted external credit assessment institutions (ECAIs) and third-party rating tools (RTs) providers, to credit quality steps.

5.   In the assessment of the credit quality requirements, the Eurosystem takes into account credit assessment information from credit assessment systems belonging to one of four sources in accordance with Title V of Part Four.

6.   As part of its assessment of the credit standard of a specific asset, the Eurosystem may take into account institutional criteria and features ensuring similar protection for the asset holder, such as guarantees. The Eurosystem reserves the right to determine whether an issue, issuer, debtor or guarantor fulfils the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements on the basis of any information that the Eurosystem may consider relevant for ensuring adequate risk protection of the Eurosystem.

7.   The ECAF follows the definition of ‘default’ laid down in Directive 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.

TITLE II

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND CREDIT QUALITY REQUIREMENTS FOR MARKETABLE ASSETS

CHAPTER 1

Eligibility criteria for marketable assets

Article 60

Eligibility criteria relating to all types of marketable assets

In order to be eligible as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations, marketable assets shall be debt instruments fulfilling the eligibility criteria laid down in Section 1, except in the case of certain specific types of marketable assets, as laid down in Section 2.

Article 61

List of eligible marketable assets and reporting rules

1.   The ECB shall publish an updated list of eligible marketable assets on its website, in accordance with the methodologies indicated on its website and shall update it every weekday. Assets assessed in accordance with Article 87(3) shall not be published on this list of eligible marketable assets.

2.   As a rule, the NCB reporting a specific marketable asset to the ECB is the NCB of the country in which the marketable asset is admitted to trading.

Section 1

General eligibility criteria for marketable assets

Article 62

Principal amount of marketable assets

1.   In order to be eligible, until their final redemption, debt instruments shall have:

(a)

a fixed and unconditional principal amount; or

(b)

an unconditional principal amount that is linked, on a flat basis, to only one euro area inflation index at a single point in time, containing no other complex structures.

2.   Debt instruments with a principal amount linked to only one euro area inflation index at a single point in time shall also be permissible, given that the coupon structure is as defined in Article 63(1)(b)(i) fourth indent and linked to the same euro area inflation index.

3.   Assets with warrants or similar rights attached shall not be eligible.

Article 63

Acceptable coupon structures for marketable assets

1.   In order to be eligible, debt instruments shall have either of the following coupon structures until final redemption:

(a)

fixed, zero or multi-step coupons with a pre-defined coupon schedule and pre-defined coupon values that may not result in a negative cash flow; or

(b)

floating coupons that may not result in a negative cash flow and that have the following structure: coupon rate = (reference rate * l) ± x, with f ≤ coupon rate ≤ c, where:

(i)

the reference rate is only one of the following at a single point in time:

a euro money market rate, e.g. EURIBOR, LIBOR or similar indices;

a constant maturity swap rate e.g. CMS, EIISDA, EUSA;

the yield of one or an index of several euro area government bonds that have a maturity of one year or less;

a euro area inflation index; and

(ii)

f (floor), c (ceiling), l (leveraging/deleveraging factor) and x (margin) are, if present, numbers that are either pre-defined at issuance, or may change over time only according to a path pre-defined at issuance, where f and c are greater than or equal to zero and l is greater than zero throughout the entire lifetime of the asset. For floating coupons with an inflation index reference rate, l shall be equal to one.

2.   Debt instruments with a floating coupon, as referred to in paragraph 1(b), shall be considered ineligible if at any time following the application of the coupon rate formula, the coupon rate results in a negative value.

3.   Any coupon structure that does not comply with paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not be eligible, including instances where only part of the remuneration structure, such as a premium, is non-compliant.

4.   For the purpose of this Article, if the coupon is either of a fixed multi-step type or of a floating multi-step type, the assessment of the relevant coupon structure shall be based on the entire lifetime of the asset with both a forward- and backward-looking perspective.

5.   Acceptable coupon structures shall have no issuer optionalities, i.e. during the entire lifetime of the asset, based on a forward- and backward-looking perspective, changes in the coupon structure that are contingent on an issuer's decision shall not be acceptable.

Article 64

Non-subordination with respect to marketable assets

Eligible debt instruments shall not give rise to rights to the principal and/or the interest that are subordinated to the rights of holders of other debt instruments of the same issuer.

Article 65

Currency of denomination of marketable assets

In order to be eligible, debt instruments shall be denominated in euro or in one of the former currencies of the Member States whose currency is the euro.

Article 66

Place of issue of marketable assets

1.   Subject to paragraph 2, in order to be eligible, debt instruments shall be issued in the EEA with a central bank or with an SSS that has been positively assessed pursuant to the Eurosystem User Assessment Framework.

2.   In respect of debt instruments issued or guaranteed by a non-financial corporation for which no credit assessment has been provided by an accepted ECAI system for the issue, issuer or guarantor, the place of issue must be within the euro area.

3.   International debt instruments issued through the ICSDs Euroclear Bank and Clearstream Banking Luxembourg shall comply with the following criteria, as applicable.

(a)

International debt instruments issued in global bearer form shall be issued in the form of new global notes (NGNs) and shall be deposited with a common safekeeper which is an ICSD or a CSD that has been positively assessed pursuant to the Eurosystem User Assessment Framework. By way of derogation, this shall not apply to international debt instruments issued in global bearer form issued in the form of classical global notes prior to 1 January 2007 and fungible tap issuances of such notes issued under the same ISIN irrespective of the date of the tap-issuance.

(b)

International debt instruments issued in global registered form shall be issued under the new safekeeping structure for international debt instruments. By way of derogation, this shall not apply to international debt instruments issued in global registered form prior to 1 October 2010.

(c)

International debt instruments in individual note form shall not be eligible unless they were issued in individual note form prior to 1 October 2010.

Article 67

Settlement procedures for marketable assets

1.   In order to be eligible, debt instruments shall be transferable in book-entry form and shall be held and settled in Member States whose currency is the euro through an account with an NCB or with an SSS that has been positively assessed pursuant to the Eurosystem User Assessment Framework, so that perfection and realisation of collateral are subject to the law of a Member State whose currency is the euro.

2.   If the CSD/SSS where the asset is issued and the CSD/SSS where the asset is held, are not identical, for the purposes of eligibility, the two must be connected by an eligible link positively assessed pursuant to the Eurosystem User Assessment Framework in accordance with Article 150.

Article 68

Acceptable markets for marketable assets

1.   In order to be eligible, debt instruments shall be those which are admitted to trading on a regulated market as defined in Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (13), or admitted to trading on certain acceptable non-regulated markets.

2.   The ECB shall publish the list of acceptable non-regulated markets on its website and shall update it at least once a year.

3.   The assessment of non-regulated markets by the Eurosystem shall be based on the following principles of safety, transparency and accessibility.

(a)

Safety refers to certainty with regard to transactions, in particular certainty in relation to the validity and enforceability of transactions.

(b)

Transparency refers to unimpeded access to information on the market's rules of procedure and operation, the financial features of the assets, the price formation mechanism, and the relevant prices and quantities, e.g. quotes, interest rates, trading volumes, outstanding amounts.

(c)

Accessibility refers to the ability of the Eurosystem to take part in and access the market. A market is considered accessible if its rules of procedure and operation allow the Eurosystem to obtain information and conduct transactions when needed for collateral management purposes.

4.   The selection process for non-regulated markets shall be defined exclusively in terms of the performance of the Eurosystem collateral management function and should not be regarded as an assessment by the Eurosystem of the intrinsic quality of any market.

Article 69

Type of issuer or guarantor for marketable assets

1.   In order to be eligible, debt instruments shall be issued or guaranteed by central banks of Member States, public sector entities, agencies, credit institutions, financial corporations other than credit institutions, non-financial corporations, multilateral development banks or international organisations.

2.   In addition to those banks and organisations identified in Article 117(2) and Article 118 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, the Eurosystem may recognise any entity as a multilateral development bank or international organisation for the purposes of this Guideline based upon an assessment relating to all of the following criteria:

(a)

it is an organisation with a global or regional mandate, transcending national boundaries;

(b)

it is funded predominantly by contributions from national governments, or organisations or entities linked with national governments;

(c)

the mission of the entity is in line with the Union's policies.

Article 70

Place of establishment of the issuer or guarantor

1.   In order to be eligible, debt instruments shall be issued by an issuer established in the EEA or in a non-EEA G10 country, subject to the exceptions in paragraphs 3 to 6.

2.   In order to be eligible, guarantors of debt instruments shall be established in the EEA, unless a guarantee is not needed to establish the credit quality requirements for specific debt instruments, subject to the exceptions laid down in paragraphs 3 and 4. The possibility to use an ECAI guarantor rating to establish the relevant credit quality requirements for specific debt instruments is laid down in Article 84.

3.   For debt instruments issued or guaranteed by non-financial corporations for which no credit assessment from an accepted ECAI system exists for the issue, the issuer or the guarantor, the issuer or guarantor shall be established in a Member State whose currency is the euro.

4.   For debt instruments issued or guaranteed by multilateral development banks or international organisations, the criterion in respect of place of establishment shall not apply and they shall be eligible irrespective of their place of establishment.

5.   For asset-backed securities, the issuer must be established in the EEA in accordance with Article 74.

6.   Debt instruments issued by issuers established in non-EEA G10 countries shall only be considered eligible if the Eurosystem has ascertained to its satisfaction that its rights would be protected in an appropriate manner under the laws of the relevant non-EEA G10 country. For this purpose, a legal assessment shall be submitted to the relevant NCB, in a form and substance acceptable to the Eurosystem, before the relevant debt instruments may be considered eligible.

Article 71

Credit quality requirements for marketable assets

In order to be eligible, debt instruments shall meet the credit quality requirements specified in Chapter 2, except where otherwise stated.

Section 2

Specific eligibility criteria for certain types of marketable assets

Subsection 1

Specific eligibility criteria for asset-backed securities

Article 72

Eligibility criteria for asset-backed securities

In order to be eligible for Eurosystem credit operations, asset-backed securities shall comply with the general eligibility criteria relating to all types of marketable assets laid down in Section 1, with the exception of the requirements laid down in Article 62 relating to the principal amount, and in addition, the specific eligibility criteria laid down in this subsection.

Article 73

Homogeneity and composition of the cash-flow generating assets

1.   In order for ABSs to be eligible, all cash-flow generating assets backing the ABSs shall be homogenous, i.e. it shall be possible to report them according to one of the existing loan-level templates, which shall be one of the following:

(a)

residential mortgages;

(b)

commercial real estate mortgages;

(c)

loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);

(d)

auto loans;

(e)

consumer finance loans;

(f)

leasing receivables;

(g)

credit card receivables.

2.   The Eurosystem may consider an ABS not to be homogenous upon assessment of the data submitted by a counterparty.

3.   ABSs shall not contain any cash-flow generating assets originated directly by the SPV issuing the ABSs.

4.   The cash-flow generating assets shall not consist, in whole or in part, actually or potentially, of tranches of other ABSs. This criterion shall not exclude ABSs where the issuance structure includes two SPVs and the ‘true sale’ criterion is met in respect of those SPVs so that the debt instruments issued by the second SPV are directly or indirectly backed by the original pool of assets and all cash flows from the cash-flow generating assets are transferred from the first to the second SPV.

5.   The cash-flow generating assets shall not consist, in whole or in part, actually or potentially, of credit-linked notes, swaps or other derivatives instruments, synthetic securities or similar claims. This restriction shall not encompass swaps used in ABS transactions strictly for hedging purposes.

6.   Without prejudice to the eligibility criteria of this subsection, the cash-flow generating assets backing commercial mortgage-backed securities shall not contain loans which are at any time structured, syndicated or leveraged. For the purposes of this criterion, ‘structured loan’ means a structure involving subordinated tranches, ‘syndicated loan’ means a loan provided by a group of lenders in a lending syndicate and ‘leveraged loan’ means a loan provided to a company that already has a considerable degree of indebtedness, such as buy-out or take-over-financing, where the loan is used for the acquisition of the equity of a company which is also the obligor of the loan.

7.   If the cash-flow generating assets backing the ABSs comprise leasing receivables with residual value leases, those ABSs that were on the list of eligible assets on 1 May 2015 shall maintain their eligibility until 31 August 2015.

Article 74

Geographical restrictions concerning asset-backed securities and cash-flow generating assets

1.   The issuer of ABSs shall be an SPV established in the EEA.

2.   The cash-flow generating assets shall be originated by an originator incorporated in the EEA and sold to the SPV by the originator or by an intermediary incorporated in the EEA.

3.   For the purpose of paragraph 2, a mortgage trustee or receivables trustee shall be considered to be an intermediary. ABSs on the list of eligible marketable assets as on 1 May 2015 that do not comply with paragraph 2 as regards the place of incorporation of a mortgage trustee or receivables trustee shall remain eligible until 1 May 2016 provided all other applicable eligibility criteria are met.

4.   The obligors and the creditors of the cash-flow generating assets shall be incorporated, or, if they are natural persons, shall be resident in the EEA. Any related security shall be located in the EEA and the law governing the cash-flow generating assets shall be the law of an EEA country.

Article 75

Acquisition of cash-flow generating assets by the SPV

1.   The acquisition of the cash-flow generating assets by the SPV shall be governed by the law of a Member State.

2.   The cash-flow generating assets shall have been acquired by the SPV from the originator or from an intermediary as laid down in Article 74(2) in a manner which the Eurosystem considers to be a ‘true sale’ that is enforceable against any third party, and which is beyond the reach of the originator and its creditors or the intermediary and its creditors, including in the event of the originator's or the intermediary's insolvency.

Article 76

Assessment of clawback rules for asset-backed securities

1.   ABSs shall only be considered eligible if the Eurosystem has ascertained that its rights would be protected in an appropriate manner against clawback rules considered relevant by the Eurosystem under the law of the relevant EEA country. For this purpose, before the ABSs may be considered eligible, the Eurosystem may require:

(a)

an independent legal assessment in a form and substance acceptable to the Eurosystem that sets out the applicable clawback rules in the relevant country; and/or

(b)

other documents, such as a solvency certificate from the transferor for the suspect period, which is a certain period of time during which the sale of cash-flow generating assets backing the ABSs may be invalidated by a liquidator.

2.   Clawback rules, which the Eurosystem considers to be severe and therefore not acceptable, shall include:

(a)

rules under which the sale of cash-flow generating assets backing the ABSs can be invalidated by a liquidator solely on the basis that the sale was concluded within the suspect period, as referred to in paragraph 1(b), before the declaration of insolvency of the seller; or

(b)

rules where such invalidation can only be prevented by the transferee if they can prove that they were not aware of the insolvency of the seller at the time of the sale.

For the purposes of this criterion, the seller may be the originator or intermediary, as applicable.

Article 77

Non-subordination of tranches for asset-backed securities

1.   Only tranches or sub-tranches of ABSs that are not subordinated to other tranches of the same issue over the lifetime of the ABS shall be considered eligible.

2.   A tranche or sub-tranche shall be considered to be non-subordinated to other tranches or sub-tranches of the same issue if, in accordance with the post-enforcement priority of payments, and if applicable, the post-acceleration priority of payments as set out in the prospectus, no other tranche or sub-tranche shall be given priority over that tranche or sub-tranche in respect of receiving payment, i.e. principal and interest, and thereby such tranche or sub-tranche shall be last in incurring losses among the different tranches or sub-tranches.

Article 78

Availability of loan level data for asset-backed securities

1.   Comprehensive and standardised loan-level data on the pool of cash-flow generating assets backing the ABSs shall be made available in accordance with the procedures set out in Annex VIII, which includes the information on the required data quality score. In its eligibility assessment, the Eurosystem takes account of: (a) any failure to deliver data; and (b) how frequently individual loan-level data fields are found not to contain meaningful data.

2.   Notwithstanding the required scoring values set out in Annex VIII in respect of loan-level data, the Eurosystem may accept as collateral asset-backed securities with a score lower than the required scoring value (A1) after completion of the relevant transitional period applicable in accordance with Annex VIII, on a case-by-case basis and subject to the provision of adequate explanations for the failure to achieve the required score. For each adequate explanation, the Eurosystem shall specify a maximum tolerance level and a tolerance horizon, as further specified on the ECB's website. The tolerance horizon shall indicate the time period within which the data quality for the ABSs must improve.

Article 79

Data requests for asset-backed securities

The Eurosystem shall reserve the right to request from any third party it considers relevant, including but not restricted to, the issuer, the originator and/or the arranger, any clarification and/or legal confirmation that it considers necessary to assess the eligibility of ABSs and with regard to the provision of loan-level data. If a third party fails to comply with a particular request, the Eurosystem may decide not to accept the ABSs as collateral or may decide to suspend the eligibility of such collateral.

Subsection 2

Specific eligibility criteria for covered bonds backed by asset-backed securities

Article 80

Eligibility criteria for covered bonds backed by asset-backed securities

1.   In the case of covered bonds backed by asset-backed securities, the cover pool of the covered bond shall only contain ABSs that comply with all of the following.

(a)

The cash-flow generating assets backing the ABSs meet the criteria laid down in Article 129(1)(d) to (f) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 in respect of ABSs backing covered bonds.

(b)

The cash-flow generating assets were originated by an entity closely linked to the issuer of the covered bonds, as described in Article 138.

(c)

They are used as a technical tool to transfer mortgages or guaranteed real estate loans from the originating entity into the cover pool of the respective covered bond.

2.   Subject to paragraph 4, the NCBs shall use the following measures to verify that the cover pool of covered bonds backed by ABSs does not contain ABSs that do not comply with paragraph 1.

(a)

On a quarterly basis, the NCBs shall request a self-certification and undertaking of the issuer confirming that the cover pool of covered bonds backed by ABSs does not contain ABSs that do not comply with paragraph 1. The NCB's request shall specify that the self-certification must be signed by the issuer's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or a manager of similar seniority, or by an authorised signatory on their behalf.

(b)

On an annual basis, NCBs shall request an ex post confirmation by external auditors or cover pool monitors from the issuer, confirming that the cover pool of covered bonds backed by ABSs does not contain ABSs that do not comply with paragraph 1 for the monitoring period.

3.   If the issuer fails to comply with a particular request or if the Eurosystem deems the content of a confirmation incorrect or insufficient to the extent that it is not possible to verify that the cover pool of covered bonds backed by ABSs comply with criteria in paragraph 1, the Eurosystem shall decide not to accept the covered bonds as eligible collateral or to suspend their eligibility.

4.   Where the applicable legislation or prospectus exclude the inclusion of ABSs that do not comply with paragraph 1 as cover pool assets, no verification pursuant to paragraph 2 shall be required.

5.   For the purposes of paragraph 1(b), the close links shall be determined at the time that the senior units of the asset-backed securities are transferred into the cover pool of the covered bond.

Subsection 3

Specific eligibility criteria for debt certificates issued by the Eurosystem

Article 81

Eligibility criteria for debt certificates issued by the Eurosystem

1.   Debt certificates issued by the ECB and debt certificates issued by the NCBs prior to the date of adoption of the euro in their respective Member State whose currency is the euro shall be eligible as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations.

2.   Debt certificates issued by the Eurosystem shall not be subject to the criteria laid down in this Chapter.

CHAPTER 2

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for marketable assets

Article 82

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for marketable assets

1.   Further to the general rules set out in Article 59 and to the specific rules set out in Article 84, marketable assets shall comply with the following credit quality requirements in order to be eligible as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations:

(a)

With the exception of ABSs, all marketable assets shall have a credit assessment provided by at least one accepted ECAI system, expressed in the form of a public credit rating, in compliance with, as a minimum, credit quality step 3 in the Eurosystem's harmonised rating scale.

(b)

ABSs shall have credit assessments that are provided by at least two different accepted ECAI systems expressed in the form of two public credit ratings, one provided by each of these ECAI systems, in compliance with, as a minimum, credit quality step 2 in the Eurosystem's harmonised rating scale.

2.   The Eurosystem may request any clarification that it considers necessary as regards the public credit rating referred to in paragraph 1.

Article 83

Types of ECAI credit assessments used for credit quality assessments of marketable assets

The following types of ECAI credit assessments from accepted ECAIs shall be used in determining compliance with the credit quality requirements applicable to marketable assets.

(a)   An ECAI issue rating: this rating refers to an ECAI credit assessment assigned to either an issue or, in the absence of an issue rating from the same ECAI, the programme or issuance series under which an asset is issued. An ECAI assessment for a programme or issuance series shall only be relevant if it applies to the particular asset in question and a different issue rating from the same ECAI does not exist. For ECAI issue ratings, the Eurosystem shall make no distinction in respect of the original maturity of the asset. Any ECAI rating assigned to the issue or programme or issuance series shall be acceptable.

(b)   An ECAI issuer rating: this rating refers to an ECAI credit assessment assigned to an issuer. For ECAI issuer ratings, the Eurosystem shall make a distinction in respect of the original maturity of the asset as regards the acceptable ECAI credit assessment. The distinction shall be made between:

(i)

short-term assets, i.e. those assets with an original maturity of up to and including 390 days; and

(ii)

long-term assets, i.e. those assets with an original maturity of more than 390 days. For short-term assets, ECAI short-term and long-term issuer ratings shall be acceptable. For long-term assets, only ECAI long-term issuer ratings shall be acceptable.

(c)   An ECAI guarantor rating: this rating refers to an ECAI credit assessment assigned to a guarantor, if the guarantee meets the requirements of Title IV. For ECAI guarantor ratings, the Eurosystem shall make no distinction in respect of the original maturity of the asset. Only ECAI long-term guarantor ratings shall be acceptable.

Article 84

Priority of ECAI credit assessments in respect of marketable assets

For marketable assets, ECAI credit assessments which determine the compliance of the asset with the credit quality requirements shall be taken into account by the Eurosystem in accordance with the following rules:

(a)

For marketable assets other than marketable assets issued by central governments, regional governments, local governments, agencies, multilateral development banks or international organisations and ABSs, the following rules shall apply.

(i)

The Eurosystem shall consider ECAI issue ratings in priority to ECAI issuer or ECAI guarantor ratings. Without prejudice to the application of this priority rule, in accordance with Article 82(1)(a), at least one ECAI credit assessment must comply with the Eurosystem's applicable credit quality requirements.

(ii)

If multiple ECAI issue ratings are available for the same issue, then the first-best of those ECAI issue ratings shall be taken into account by the Eurosystem. If the first-best ECAI issue rating does not comply with the Eurosystem's credit quality threshold for marketable assets, the asset shall not be eligible, even if a guarantee that is acceptable under Title IV exists.

(iii)

In the absence of any ECAI issue rating, an ECAI issuer or ECAI guarantor rating may be considered by the Eurosystem. If multiple ECAI issuer and/or ECAI guarantor ratings are available for the same issue, then the first-best of those ratings shall be taken account by the Eurosystem.

(b)

For marketable assets issued by central governments, regional governments, local governments, agencies, multilateral development banks or international organisations, the following rules shall apply.

(i)

In accordance with Article 82(1)(a), at least one ECAI credit assessment must comply with the Eurosystem's applicable credit quality requirements. The Eurosystem shall only consider ECAI issuer or ECAI guarantor ratings.

(ii)

If multiple ECAI issuer and ECAI guarantor ratings are available, the first-best of those ratings shall be taken into account by the Eurosystem.

(iii)

Covered bonds issued by agencies shall not be assessed in accordance with the rules in this point and shall instead be assessed in accordance with point (a).

(c)

For ABSs, the following rules shall apply.

(i)

In accordance with Article 82(1)(b), at least two ECAI credit assessments shall comply with the Eurosystem's applicable credit quality requirements. The Eurosystem shall only consider ECAI issue ratings.

(ii)

If more than two ECAI issue ratings are available, the first- and second-best of such ECAI issue ratings shall be taken into account by the Eurosystem.

Article 85

Multi-issuer securities

For marketable assets with more than one issuer (multi-issuer securities), the applicable ECAI issuer rating shall be determined on the basis of each issuer's potential liability as follows:

(a)

If each issuer is jointly and severally liable for the obligations of all other issuers under the issue or, if applicable, for the programme, or issuance series, the ECAI issuer rating to be considered shall be the highest rating among the first-best ECAI issuer ratings of all the relevant issuers; or

(b)

If any issuer is not jointly and severally liable for the obligations of all other issuers under the issue or, if applicable, for the programme, or issuance series, the ECAI issuer rating to be considered shall be the lowest rating among the first-best ECAI issuer ratings of all the relevant issuers.

Article 86

Non-euro ratings

For the purpose of ECAI issuer ratings, a foreign currency rating shall be acceptable. If the asset is denominated in the domestic currency of the issuer, the local currency rating shall also be acceptable.

Article 87

Credit quality assessment criteria for marketable assets in the absence of a credit assessment provided by an accepted ECAI

1.   In the absence of an appropriate credit assessment provided by an accepted ECAI for the issue, issuer or guarantor, as would be applicable pursuant to Article 84(a) or (b), an implicit credit assessment of marketable assets (with the exception of ABSs) shall be derived by the Eurosystem in accordance with the rules laid down in paragraphs 2 and 3. This implicit credit assessment is required to comply with the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements.

2.   If the debt instruments are issued or guaranteed by a regional government or a local authority or a ‘public sector entity’ as defined in Article 4(8) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (hereinafter a ‘CRR public sector entity’) established in a Member State whose currency is the euro, the credit assessment shall be performed by the Eurosystem in accordance with the following rules.

(a)

If the issuers or guarantors are regional governments, local authorities or CRR public sector entities, which according to competent authorities are treated for capital requirements purposes pursuant to Articles 115(2), 116(1) and 116(4) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 equally to the central government in whose jurisdiction they are established, the debt instruments issued or guaranteed by these entities shall be allocated the credit quality step corresponding to the best credit rating provided by an accepted ECAI to the central government in whose jurisdiction these entities are established.

(b)

If the issuers or guarantors are regional governments, local authorities and CRR public sector entities, which according to competent authorities are treated for capital requirements purposes pursuant to Articles 115(1) and 116(2) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 equally to credit institutions, the debt instruments issued or guaranteed by these entities shall be allocated the credit step corresponding to one credit quality step below the best credit rating provided by an accepted ECAI in relation to the central government in which jurisdiction these entities are established.

(c)

If the issuers or guarantors are CRR public sector entities that are not referred to in points (a) and (b), no implicit credit assessment is derived and they shall be treated equally to private sector entities.

3.   If the debt instruments are issued or guaranteed by non-financial corporations established in a Member State whose currency is the euro, the credit quality assessment shall be performed by the Eurosystem based on the credit quality assessment rules applicable to the credit quality assessment of credit claims in Chapter 2 of Title III. Assets in relation to which the credit quality is assessed in accordance with the rules contained in this paragraph shall not be included in the public list of eligible marketable assets.

Table 9

Implicit credit assessments for issuers or guarantors without an ECAI credit assessment

 

Allocation of issuers or guarantors under Regulation (EU) No 575/2013

ECAF derivation of the implicit credit assessment of the issuer or guarantor belonging to the corresponding class

Class 1

Regional governments, local authorities and CRR public sector entities (CRR PSEs) that, according to the competent authorities, can be treated in the same manner as the central government for capital requirements purposes

Allocated the ECAI credit assessment of the central government of the country in which it is established

Class 2

Regional governments, local authorities and CRR PSEs that according to competent authorities can be treated equally to credit institutions for capital requirements purposes

Allocated a credit assessment one credit quality step (*5) below the ECAI credit assessment of the central government of the country in which it is established

Class 3

Other CRR PSEs

Treated like private sector issuers or debtors

Article 88

Additional credit quality requirements for asset-backed securities

1.   For ABSs, the credit quality assessment shall be based on a public issue rating that is explained in a publicly available credit rating report, i.e. a new issue report. The publicly available credit rating report shall include, inter alia, a comprehensive analysis of structural and legal aspects, a detailed collateral pool assessment, an analysis of the transaction participants, as well as an analysis of any other relevant details of a transaction.

2.   Further to the requirement in paragraph 1, regular surveillance reports published by the accepted ECAIs are required for asset-backed securities. The publication of these reports shall take place no later than four weeks after the coupon payment date of the ABSs. The reference date of these reports shall be the most recent coupon payment date except for ABSs paying the coupon on a monthly basis, in which case the surveillance report shall be published at least quarterly. The surveillance reports shall contain, as a minimum, the key transaction data, e.g. composition of the collateral pool, transaction participants, capital structure, as well as performance data.

TITLE III

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND CREDIT QUALITY REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-MARKETABLE ASSETS

CHAPTER 1

Eligibility criteria for non-marketable assets

Section 1

Eligibility criteria for credit claims

Article 89

Eligible type of asset

1.   The eligible type of asset shall be a credit claim that is a debt obligation of a debtor vis-à-vis a counterparty.

2.   Types of credit claims that have a ‘reducing balance’, i.e. where the principal and interest are paid off according to a pre-agreed schedule, as well as drawn credit lines, shall be eligible types of credit claim.

3.   Current account overdrafts, letters of credit and undrawn credit lines, e.g. undrawn facilities of revolving credit claims, which authorise the use of credit but are not credit claims per se, shall not be eligible types of credit claim.

4.   A syndicated loan share shall be an eligible type of credit claim. For the purposes of this Section, a syndicated loan share means a credit claim resulting from the participation of a lender in a loan provided by a group of lenders in a lending syndicate.

5.   A credit claim granted in a context other than a mere lending relationship may constitute an eligible type of asset. A claim inherent to certain leasing or factoring structures may qualify as an eligible type of asset, if it constitutes a credit claim. Claims purchased under a factoring only qualify as an eligible type of asset to the extent they actually constitute credit claims as opposed to other claims, such as purchase price claims.

Article 90

Principal amount and coupons of credit claims

In order to be eligible, credit claims shall comply, until final redemption, with the following requirements:

(a)

a fixed, unconditional principal amount; and

(b)

an interest rate that cannot result in a negative cash flow, whereby the interest rate shall be one of the following:

(i)

a ‘zero-coupon’;

(ii)

fixed;

(iii)

floating, i.e. linked to another interest rate reference or to the inflation rate.

Article 91

Non-subordination

Credit claims may not afford rights to the principal and/or the interest that are subordinated to: (a) the rights of holders of other unsecured debt obligations of the debtor including other shares or sub-shares in the same syndicated loan; and (b) the rights of holders of debt instruments of the same issuer.

Article 92

Credit quality requirements for credit claims

The credit quality of credit claims is assessed on the basis of the credit quality of the debtor or guarantor. The relevant debtor or guarantor shall comply with the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements as specified in the ECAF rules for credit claims laid down in Chapter 2 of Title III of Part Four.

Article 93

Minimum size of credit claims

For domestic use, credit claims shall, at the time of their submission as collateral by the counterparty, meet a minimum size threshold laid down by the home NCB. For cross-border use, a minimum size threshold of EUR 500 000 shall apply.

Article 94

Currency of denomination of credit claims

Credit claims shall be denominated in euro or in one of the former currencies of the Member States whose currency is the euro.

Article 95

Type of debtor or guarantor

1.   The debtors and guarantors of eligible credit claims shall be non-financial corporations, public sector entities, multilateral development banks or international organisations. For the purposes of this Article, a multilateral development bank or an international organisation may be recognised by the Eurosystem in the same manner as described in Article 69(2).

2.   If a credit claim has more than one debtor, each debtor shall be individually and severally liable for the full repayment of the entire credit claim.

Article 96

Location of the debtor or guarantor

1.   The debtor in respect of a credit claim shall be established in a Member State whose currency is the euro.

2.   The guarantor in respect of a credit claim shall also be established in a Member State whose currency is the euro, unless a guarantee is not needed to establish the credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets because there is an adequate credit assessment of the debtor.

3.   For debtors or guarantors that are multilateral development banks or international organisations, the rules in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply and they shall be eligible irrespective of their place of establishment.

Article 97

Governing laws

The credit claim agreement and the agreement between the counterparty and the home NCB mobilising the credit claim as collateral shall both be governed by the law of a Member State whose currency is the euro. Furthermore, there shall be no more than two governing laws in total that apply to the:

(a)

counterparty;

(b)

creditor;

(c)

debtor;

(d)

guarantor (if relevant);

(e)

credit claim agreement;

(f)

the agreement between the counterparty and the home NCB mobilising the credit claim as collateral.

Article 98

Handling procedures

Credit claims shall be handled in accordance with the Eurosystem procedures laid down in the relevant national documentation of the NCBs.

Article 99

Additional legal requirements for credit claims

1.   In order to ensure that a valid security is created over credit claims and that the credit claim can be swiftly realised in the event of a counterparty default, additional legal requirements shall be met. These legal requirements relate to:

(a)

verification of the existence of credit claims;

(b)

notification of the debtor about mobilisation of the credit claim or the registration of such mobilisation;

(c)

an absence of restrictions on the mobilisation of the credit claim;

(d)

an absence of restrictions on the realisation of the credit claim;

(e)

an absence of restrictions related to banking secrecy and confidentiality.

2.   The content of these legal requirements is set out in Articles 100 to 105. Further details of the specific features of the national jurisdictions are provided in the relevant national documentation of the NCBs.

Article 100

Verifications of the procedures used to submit credit claims

NCBs, or supervisors or external auditors, shall conduct a one-off verification of the appropriateness of the procedures used by the counterparty to submit the information on credit claims to the Eurosystem.

Article 101

Verification of existence of credit claims

1.   The NCBs shall, as a minimum, take all of the following steps to verify the existence of credit claims mobilised as collateral:

(a)

They shall obtain a written confirmation from counterparties, at least each quarter, by which counterparties shall confirm:

(i)

the existence of the credit claims (this confirmation could be replaced with cross-checks of information held in central credit registers, where these exist);

(ii)

the compliance of credit claims with the eligibility criteria applied by the Eurosystem;

(iii)

that such credit claim is not used simultaneously as collateral to the benefit of any third party and that the counterparty shall not mobilise such credit claim as collateral to any third party;

(iv)

that the counterparty will undertake to communicate to the relevant NCB no later than within the course of the next business day, any event that materially affects the contractual relationship between the counterparty and the NCB, in particular early, partial or total repayments, downgrades and material changes in the conditions of the credit claim.

(b)

They, or relevant central credit registers, banking supervision competent authorities or external auditors, shall perform random checks in respect of the quality and accuracy of the written confirmation of counterparties, by means of delivery of physical documentation or through on-site visits. The information checked in relation to each credit claim shall cover as a minimum the characteristics that determine the existence and the eligibility of credit claims. For counterparties with ECAF-approved internal ratings-based (IRB) systems, additional checks on the credit quality assessment of credit claims shall be carried out involving checks of PDs with respect to debtors of credit claims that are used as collateral in Eurosystem credit operations.

2.   For the checks that are undertaken in accordance with Article 100 or paragraphs 1(a) and (b) of this Article by NCBs, supervisors, external auditors or central credit registers, those undertaking the checks shall be authorised to carry out these investigations, if necessary contractually or in accordance with the applicable national requirements.

Article 102

Validity of the agreement for the mobilisation of credit claims

The agreement for the mobilisation of the credit claim as collateral shall be valid between the counterparty and the relevant NCB under the applicable national law. All the necessary legal formalities to ensure the validity of the agreement and to ensure the mobilisation of a credit claims as collateral shall be fulfilled by the counterparty and/or the transferee, as appropriate.

Article 103

Full effect of the mobilisation vis-à-vis third parties

1.   The agreement for the mobilisation of the credit claim as collateral shall be valid vis-à-vis third parties under the applicable national law. All legal formalities necessary to ensure valid mobilisation shall be fulfilled by the counterparty and/or the transferee, as appropriate.

2.   As regards notification of the debtor, the following shall apply, depending on the applicable national law.

(a)

If debtor notification or public registration of the mobilisation of a credit claim as collateral is necessary to ensure full effectiveness of the mobilisation vis-à-vis third parties, and in particular to ensure the priority of the home NCB's security interest vis-à-vis other creditors, these notification or registration requirements shall be completed in advance or at the time of the credit claim's actual mobilisation as collateral.

(b)

If ex ante notification of the debtor or public registration of the mobilisation of a credit claim as collateral is not required in accordance with point (a), as specified in the applicable national documentation, ex post notification of the debtor is required. Ex post notification means that the debtor shall be notified by the counterparty or the home NCB, as specified by the national documentation, about the credit claim being mobilised as collateral by the counterparty to the benefit of the NCB immediately following an event of default or similar credit event as further specified in the applicable national documentation.

(c)

The NCBs may decide to require ex ante notification or public registration in advance or at the time of mobilisation, even if these formalities are not necessary for the purposes set out in point (a).

(d)

For credit claims that are bearer instruments, the home NCB may require that such bearer instruments are physically transferred to it or to a third party in advance, or at the time of actual mobilisation as collateral. The notification requirements set out in points (a) and (b) shall not apply to credit claims that are bearer instruments.

3.   The above are minimum requirements. NCBs may decide to require ex ante notification or registration in addition to the situations above, including in the case of bearer instruments.

Article 104

Absence of restrictions concerning mobilisation and realisation of credit claims

1.   Credit claims shall be fully transferable and capable of being mobilised without restriction for the benefit of the Eurosystem. The credit claim agreement or other contractual arrangements between the counterparty and the debtor shall not contain any restrictive provisions on mobilisation as collateral, unless national legislation provides that such contractual restrictions are without prejudice to the Eurosystem with respect to the mobilisation of collateral.

2.   The credit claim agreement or other contractual arrangements between the counterparty and the debtor shall not contain any restrictive provisions regarding the realisation of the credit claim used as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations, including any form, time or other requirement with regard to realisation.

3.   Notwithstanding paragraphs 1 and 2, the provisions restricting the assignment of syndicated loan shares to banks, financial institutions and entities which are regularly engaged in or established for the purpose of creating, purchasing or investing in loans, securities or other financial assets shall not be considered as a restriction on the realisation of the credit claim.

4.   Notwithstanding paragraphs 1 and 2, a facility agent for the collection and distribution of payments and administration of the loan shall not be considered as a restriction on the mobilisation and realisation of a syndicated loan share, provided that: (a) the facility agent is a credit institution located in the Union; and (b) the service relationship between the relevant syndicate member and the facility agent can be transferred alongside or as part of the syndicated loan share.

Article 105

Absence of restrictions concerning banking secrecy and confidentiality

The counterparty and the debtor shall have agreed contractually that the debtor unconditionally consents to disclosure by the counterparty to the Eurosystem of details in respect of the credit claim and on the debtor that are required by the home NCB for the purpose of ensuring that a valid security is created over credit claims and that the credit claims can be swiftly realised in the event of a counterparty default. This requirement shall not be necessary if unrestricted provision of such information is ensured under the applicable national law, as specified in the applicable national documentation of the home NCB.

Section 2

Eligibility criteria for fixed-term deposits

Article 106

Eligibility criteria for fixed-term deposits

Fixed-term deposits, as described in Article 12, that are held by a counterparty shall be eligible assets as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations.

Section 3

Eligibility criteria for RMBDs

Article 107

Eligibility criteria for RMBDs

1.   An RMBD shall be a promissory note or a bill of exchange that is secured by a pool of residential mortgages but falls short of full securitisation. Substitution of assets in the underlying pool shall be possible and a mechanism shall be in place to ensure that the home NCB enjoys priority over creditors other than those exempted for public policy reasons.

2.   RMBDs shall have a fixed, unconditional principal amount and an interest rate that cannot result in a negative cash flow.

3.   RMBDs shall comply with the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements specified in the ECAF rules for RMBDs as laid down in Chapter 2 of Title III of this Part Four.

4.   RMBDs shall be issued by credit institutions that are counterparties which are established in a Member State whose currency is the euro.

5.   RMBDs shall be denominated in euro or in one of the former currencies of Member States whose currency is the euro.

6.   An issuer of RMBDs shall self-certify, as a minimum on a monthly basis, that the residential mortgages that form the cover pool comply with the eligibility criteria specified in the national arrangements established by the home NCB and on which the credit assessment is based.

7.   The mobilisation, use and handling procedures in respect of RMBDs shall be subject to the Eurosystem procedures as defined in the national documentation of the home NCB.

CHAPTER 2

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets

Article 108

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets

In order for non-marketable assets to be eligible, the following Eurosystem credit quality requirements shall apply.

(a)

For credit claims, the credit quality of credit claims shall be assessed on the basis of the credit quality of the debtor or guarantor, which shall comply, as a minimum, with credit quality step 3, as specified in the Eurosystem's harmonised rating scale.

(b)

For RMBDs, a credit quality assessment shall comply, as a minimum, with credit quality step 2, as specified in the Eurosystem's harmonised rating scale.

Section 1

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for credit claims

Article 109

General rules for the credit quality assessment of credit claims

1.   The Eurosystem shall assess the credit quality of credit claims on the basis of the credit quality of the debtors or guarantors provided by the credit assessment system or source selected by the counterparty in accordance with Article 110.

2.   Counterparties shall within the course of the next business day inform the relevant NCB of any credit event, including a delay in payments by the debtors of the credit claims mobilised as collateral, that is known to the counterparty and, if requested by the relevant NCB, withdraw or replace the assets.

3.   Counterparties shall be responsible for ensuring that they use the most recent credit quality assessment available from their selected credit assessment system or source for the debtors or guarantors of credit claims mobilised as collateral.

Article 110

Selection of the credit assessment system or source

1.   Counterparties mobilising credit claims as collateral shall select one credit assessment system from one of the four credit assessment sources accepted by the Eurosystem in accordance with the general acceptance criteria in Title V of Part Four. Where the ECAI source is selected by counterparties, any ECAI system may be used.

2.   Further to paragraph 1, NCBs may allow counterparties to use more than one credit assessment system or source upon submission of a reasoned request to the home NCB supported by an adequate business case based on the lack of sufficient coverage of the ‘main’ credit assessment source or system.

3.   In cases where counterparties are allowed to use more than one credit assessment system or credit assessment source, the ‘main’ system or source is expected to be the one providing the credit quality assessment of the largest number of debtors from the credit claims mobilised as collateral. If a credit assessment for a debtor or guarantor is available from this main system or source, only this credit assessment shall determine the eligibility and valuation haircuts applicable to the debtor or guarantor.

4.   Counterparties shall use the selected credit assessment systems or sources for a minimum period of 12 months.

5.   After the period specified in paragraph 4, counterparties may submit an explicit reasoned request to the home NCB to change the selected credit assessment system or source.

6.   In certain circumstances and particularly when a counterparty phases-in its IRB system or begins using credit claims as collateral, upon submission of a reasoned request, an NCB may exceptionally grant a derogation to a counterparty with respect to the 12-month minimum period restriction specified in paragraph 4 and allow the counterparty to change its selected credit assessment system or source within that period.

7.   If the counterparty has chosen the ECAI credit assessment source, it may use an ECAI debtor or ECAI guarantor rating. If multiple ECAI debtor and/or ECAI guarantor ratings are available for the same credit claim, then the best available ECAI credit assessment of those may be used.

Article 111

Credit assessment of credit claims with public sector entities, or non-financial corporations, as debtors or guarantors

1.   The Eurosystem shall assess the credit quality of credit claims with public sector entities acting as debtors or guarantors in accordance with the following rules, applied in the following order.

(a)

If a credit assessment from the system or source selected by the counterparty exists, the Eurosystem shall use it to establish whether the public sector entity acting as debtor or guarantor meets the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets laid down in Article 108.

(b)

In the absence of a credit assessment under point (a), the Eurosystem shall use an ECAI credit assessment provided by an accepted ECAI system for the public sector entity acting as debtor or guarantor.

(c)

If a credit assessment is unavailable pursuant to points (a) or (b), the procedure laid down in Article 87 for marketable assets shall apply to the relevant public sector entity as debtor or guarantor.

2.   The Eurosystem shall assess the credit quality of credit claims with non-financial corporations as debtors or guarantors as follows: the credit assessment provided by the credit assessment system or source selected by the counterparty shall meet the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets laid down in Article 108.

Section 2

Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for RMBDs

Article 112

Establishment of Eurosystem's credit quality requirements for RMBDs

For the purpose of meeting the credit quality requirements laid down in Article 108, the home NCB shall assess the credit quality of RMBDs on the basis of a jurisdiction-specific credit quality assessment framework laid down in the applicable national documentation.

TITLE IV

GUARANTEES FOR MARKETABLE AND NON-MARKETABLE ASSETS

Article 113

Applicable requirements for guarantees

1.   The Eurosystem's credit quality requirements may be established on the basis of credit assessments provided in respect of guarantors in accordance with Articles 82 to 84 in respect of marketable assets and Article 108 in respect of credit claims.

2.   Guarantees provided by guarantors that are required to establish the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements shall comply with this Title.

3.   For the purposes of paragraph 1, the relevant guarantor shall be separately assessed on the basis of its credit assessment and shall meet the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements.

Article 114

Features of the guarantee

1.   In accordance with the terms of the guarantee, the guarantor shall provide an unconditional and irrevocable first-demand guarantee in respect of the obligations of the issuer or debtor in relation to the payment of the principal, interest and any other amounts due under the marketable asset or credit claim to the holders or creditor thereof, until the marketable asset or credit claim is discharged in full. In this regard, a guarantee shall not be required to be specific to the marketable asset or credit claim but may apply to the issuer or debtor only, provided that the relevant marketable asset or credit claim is covered by the guarantee.

2.   The guarantee shall be payable on first demand independently of the guaranteed marketable asset or credit claim. Guarantees given by public sector entities with the right to levy taxes shall either be payable on first demand or otherwise provide for prompt and punctual payment following any default.

3.   The guarantee shall be legally valid, binding and enforceable against the guarantor.

4.   The guarantee shall be governed by the law of a Member State.

5.   If the guarantor is not a public sector entity with the right to levy taxes, a legal confirmation concerning the legal validity, binding effect and enforceability of the guarantee shall be submitted to the relevant NCB in a form and substance acceptable to the Eurosystem before the marketable assets or credit claim supported by the guarantee can be considered eligible. The legal confirmation shall also state that the guarantee is not a personal one and is only enforceable by the holders of the marketable assets or the creditor of the credit claim. If the guarantor is established in a jurisdiction other than the one of the law governing the guarantee, the legal confirmation shall also confirm that the guarantee is valid and enforceable under the law of the jurisdiction in which the guarantor is established. For marketable assets, the legal confirmation shall be submitted by the counterparty for review to the NCB that is reporting the relevant asset supported by a guarantee for inclusion in the list of eligible assets. For credit claims, the legal confirmation shall be submitted by the counterparty seeking to mobilise the credit claim for review to the NCB in the jurisdiction of the law governing the credit claim. The requirement of enforceability is subject to any insolvency or bankruptcy laws, general principles of equity and other similar laws and principles applicable to the guarantor and generally affecting creditors' rights against the guarantor.

Article 115

Non-subordination of the obligations of the guarantor

The obligations of the guarantor under the guarantee shall at least rank equally, pari passu, and rateably, pro rata, with all other unsecured obligations of the guarantor.

Article 116

Credit quality requirements for guarantors

The guarantor shall comply with the Eurosystem's credit quality requirements specified under the ECAF rules for guarantors of marketable assets laid down in Articles 82 to 84 or with the rules for guarantors of credit claims laid down in Article 108.

Article 117

Type of guarantor

The guarantor shall be:

(a)

for marketable assets in accordance with Article 69: a central bank of a Member State, a public sector entity, an agency, a credit institution, a financial corporation other than a credit institution, a non-financial corporation, a multilateral development bank or an international organisation; or

(b)

for credit claims in accordance with Article 95: a non-financial corporation, a public sector entity, a multilateral development bank or an international organisation.

Article 118

Place of establishment of guarantor

1.   The guarantor shall be established:

(a)

in the case of marketable assets in accordance with Article 70, in the EEA, unless a guarantee is not needed to establish the credit quality requirements for a specific debt instrument. The possibility to use an ECAI guarantor rating to establish the relevant credit quality requirements for marketable assets is addressed in Article 84.

(b)

for debt instruments guaranteed by non-financial corporations for which no credit assessment has been provided by an accepted ECAI for the issue, the issuer or the guarantor, in accordance with Article 70, the guarantor shall be established in a Member State whose currency is the euro;

(c)

in the case of credit claims in accordance with Article 96, in a Member State whose currency is the euro, unless a guarantee is not needed to establish the credit quality requirements for non-marketable assets. The option to use a credit assessment in respect of a guarantor to establish the relevant credit quality requirements for credit claims is addressed in Article 108.

2.   Notwithstanding paragraph 1, in accordance with Articles 70 and 96, multilateral development banks and international organisations shall be eligible guarantors irrespective of their place of establishment.

TITLE V

EUROSYSTEM CREDIT ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK FOR ELIGIBLE ASSETS

Article 119

Accepted credit assessment sources and systems

1.   The credit assessment information on which the Eurosystem bases the eligibility assessment of assets eligible as collateral for Eurosystem credit operations shall be provided by credit assessment systems belonging to one of the four following sources:

(a)

ECAIs;

(b)

NCBs' in-house credit assessment systems (ICASs);

(c)

counterparties' internal rating-based (IRB) systems;

(d)

third-party rating tool (RT) providers.

2.   Under each credit assessment source listed in paragraph 1 there may be a set of credit assessment systems. Credit assessment systems shall comply with the acceptance criteria laid down in this Title. A list of the accepted credit assessment systems, i.e. the list of accepted ECAIs, ICASs and RTs, is published on the ECB's website.

3.   All accepted credit assessment systems shall be subject to the ECAF performance monitoring process as laid down in Article 126.

4.   By publishing information on the accepted credit assessment systems in conjunction with its Eurosystem credit operations, the Eurosystem shall not assume any responsibility for its evaluation of accepted credit assessment systems.

5.   In the event of an infringement of the ECAF rules and procedures, the relevant credit assessment system may be excluded from the ECAF-accepted systems.

Article 120

General acceptance criteria for external credit assessment institutions as credit assessment systems

1.   For the purposes of the ECAF, the general acceptance criteria for ECAIs shall be the following:

(a)

ECAIs shall be registered or certified by the European Securities and Markets Authority, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009.

(b)

ECAIs shall fulfil operational criteria and provide relevant coverage so as to ensure the efficient implementation of the ECAF. In particular, the use of an ECAI credit assessment is subject to the availability to the Eurosystem of information on these assessments, as well as information for the comparison and the assignment, i.e. mapping, of the assessments to the Eurosystem's credit quality steps and for the purposes of the performance monitoring process, under Article 126.

2.   The Eurosystem reserves the right to decide whether it accepts an ECAI for the purposes of ECAF, taking into account, among other factors, the criteria and rules of the ECAF performance monitoring process.

3.   Together with the submitted data for ECAF performance monitoring in accordance with Article 126, the ECAI shall submit a signed certification from the CEO of the ECAI, or authorised signatory with responsibility for the audit or compliance function within the ECAI, confirming the accuracy and validity of the submitted performance monitoring information.