Decisions taken by the Governing Council of the ECB (in addition to decisions setting interest rates)

September 2008

Economic analysis and statistics

Launch of a euro area survey on household finance and consumption (HFCS)

On 18 September 2008 the Governing Council approved the launch of a Eurosystem survey on household finance and consumption. This survey, to be coordinated by the ECB, will be conducted on a decentralised and voluntary basis by the Eurosystem national central banks and, in some countries, in collaboration with the respective national statistical institute. It will allow insights into households’ economic behaviour that are of relevance to a number of policy areas of the Eurosystem.

Operational Issues

Continuation of supplementary longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs)

On 4 September 2008 the Governing Council decided to renew the two three-month supplementary LTROs that will mature on 13 November and 11 December 2008, respectively, as well as the outstanding six-month supplementary LTRO of EUR 25 billion that was allotted on 2 April, and that will mature on 9 October 2008. This measure is aimed at supporting the further normalisation of the euro money market. It was announced in a press release published on the ECB’s website on the same day.

Review of the risk control measures in Eurosystem credit operations

On 4 September 2008 the Governing Council approved, in the context of its regular biennial review, some technical refinements to the risk control framework for Eurosystem credit operations. These refinements will be included in the forthcoming update of the “General Documentation” and will become effective on 1 February 2009. A press release detailing the measures was published on the ECB’s website on the same day.

US dollar liquidity-providing operations/increase of amounts offered in US dollar Term Auction Facility operations

On 17 September 2008 the Governing Council decided to reinforce its joint action with the Federal Reserve by adding an overnight maturity to its operations providing US dollar funding to Eurosystem counterparties and by increasing the amounts offered in the Term Auction Facility operations. This decision was in the context of the coordinated measures, announced in a press release issued on 18 September 2008 in parallel with communications made by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank, designed to address the continued elevated pressures in short-term US dollar funding markets.

Payment systems and market Infrastructure

Public consultation on the Eurosystem Single Interface (ESI)

On 21 August 2008 the Governing Council decided to launch a public consultation on the ESI, which is designed to facilitate access to the services provided by the Eurosystem (most notably, TARGET2, TARGET2-Securities and CCBM2) in order to achieve an optimal exploitation of synergies between these projects. This public consultation will end on 28 November 2008. A press release announcing its launch was published on the ECB’s website on 1 September 2008.

Chairman of the TARGET2-Securities Advisory Group

On 16 September 2008 the Governing Council appointed Mr J.-M. Godeffroy, Director General Payments and Market Infrastructure at the ECB, as Chairman of the Advisory Group of the TARGET2-Securities (T2S) project for the specification phase, which is expected to last until end-2009. Mr Godeffroy was Chairman of the T2S Advisory Group in the previous phase of the project.

Financial stability and supervision

EU banking structures

On 18 September 2008 the Governing Council authorised the publication of the “EU banking structures” annual report, prepared by the Banking Supervision Committee (BSC). It focuses on structural developments in 2007 and the first half of 2008 that are relevant from a banking stability viewpoint, and presents two special features devoted to the incentive structure of the “originate and distribute” model and to the results of the BSC EU Bank Survey on Major Risks for the Year Ahead. The report and a related press release will be published on the ECB’s website by mid-October 2008.

Advice on legislation

ECB Opinion on the Maltese legal framework for the recycling of euro banknotes

On 27 August 2008, at the request of the Central Bank of Malta, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the legal framework for the recycling of euro banknotes by credit institutions and other professional cash handlers (CON/2008/38). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on the Polish law establishing the Financial Stability Committee

On 1 September 2008, at the request of the Polish Minister for Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the Financial Stability Committee (CON/2008/39). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on Slovak legislation relating to technical euro changeover rules

On 2 September 2008, at the request of the Slovak Ministry of Defence and of the Slovak Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on further detailed technical rules on the euro changeover (CON/2008/40). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on the financing of Austria’s contribution to debt relief for Liberia

On 9 September 2008, at the request of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the financing of an Austrian contribution to debt relief for Liberia (CON/2008/41). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on Luxemburgish legislation relating to financial stability and minimum reserve requirements

On 10 September 2008, at the request of the Banque centrale du Luxembourg, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on amendments enabling the Banque centrale du Luxembourg to contribute more effectively to financial stability and clarifying the minimum reserve requirements regime (CON/2008/42). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on Slovenian legislation regarding restrictions and prohibitions for public office holders

On 17 September 2008, at the request of the Slovenian Ministry of Public Administration, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on restrictions and prohibitions for public office holders (CON/2008/43). The Opinion will be published shortly on the ECB’s website.

Statistics

ECB Guideline on the ECB’s statistical reporting requirements in the field of quarterly financial accounts

On 26 August 2008 a Guideline amending some technical features (coding standards) of Guideline ECB/2002/7 on the statistical reporting requirements of the European Central Bank in the field of quarterly financial accounts was adopted (ECB/2008/6). The Guideline will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

Early publication of statistics and charts on money market activity

On 5 September 2008 the Governing Council approved the early publication of data and a set of charts related to the activity of the euro money market, together with a press release, before the publication of the Euro Money Market Study based on these data. This will ensure that the public is informed in a more timely manner. The first early publication of these data and charts will be in October 2008.

ECB Guideline on the reporting of government finance statistics

On 5 September 2008 the Governing Council adopted a Guideline amending Guideline ECB/2005/5 of 17 February 2005 on the statistical reporting requirements of the European Central Bank and the procedures for exchanging statistical information within the European System of Central Banks in the field of government finance statistics (ECB/2008/7). The amendments entail a slight reduction of the requirements. The Guideline will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

Publication of additional harmonised competitiveness indicators

On 11 September 2008 the Governing Council approved the regular publication of additional harmonised competitiveness indicators (HCIs) for the euro area countries. Complementing the HCIs deflated with consumer price indices, which have been published since 2006, the new HCIs will be based on GDP deflators and unit labour costs for the total economy. These new statistics will be available from November 2008 onwards on the websites of the ECB and of the Eurosystem NCBs.

ECB Recommendation on an EU Council Regulation on the collection of statistical information by the ECB

On 15 September 2008 the Governing Council adopted a Recommendation for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2533/98 of 23 November 1998 concerning the collection of statistical information by the European Central Bank (ECB/2008/9). The Recommendation will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

International and European cooperation

Technical assistance programme with the National Bank of Serbia

On 14 August 2008 the Governing Council authorised the signing of a technical assistance programme with the National Bank of Serbia. This nine-month programme, involving the ECB and 17 national central banks of the ESCB and covering six fields of activity, will aim to enhance the regulatory and operational framework of the National Bank of Serbia towards the ESCB benchmark. A press release was published on the ECB’s website on 1 September 2008, the day of the programme’s launch and of the signing ceremony in Belgrade.

Banknotes

ECB Guideline on data collection regarding the euro and the operation of the Currency Information System 2

On 11 September 2008 the Governing Council adopted a Guideline on data collection regarding the euro and the operation of the Currency Information System 2 (ECB/2008/8). The Guideline will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

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