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

October 2008

Operational Issues

Decisions related to refinancing operations and to EUR and USD liquidity

Since 18 September 2008 the Governing Council has taken a series of decisions relating to refinancing operations, tender procedures and standing facilities, and to US dollar liquidity operations in order to address pressures in the money markets. These decisions have been announced on the ECB’s website via dedicated press releases.

ECB Regulation on minimum reserves

On 22 October 2008 the Governing Council adopted a Regulation amending Regulation ECB/2003/9 of 12 September 2003 on the application of minimum reserves (ECB/2008/10). The Regulation will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

Review of the ECB’s “General Documentation”

On 23 October 2008 the Governing Council approved a revised version of the document entitled “The implementation of monetary policy in the euro area: General documentation on Eurosystem monetary policy instruments and procedures” (referred to as the “General Documentation”) and adopted a Guideline amending Guideline ECB/2000/7 on monetary policy instruments and procedures of the Eurosystem (ECB/2008/13). Guideline ECB/2008/13 will replace the current version of the General Documentation when it enters into force on 1 February 2009. The General Documentation will be published later this year in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

Legal acts related to the eligibility of collateral

In order to implement its decisions taken on 15 October 2008, the Governing Council adopted on 23 October 2008 a Regulation and a Guideline on temporary changes to the rules relating to the eligibility of collateral (ECB/2008/11 and ECB/2008/12, respectively). Both legal acts will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

Payment systems and market Infrastructure

Glossary of terms related to payment, clearing and settlement systems – public consultation

On 30 September 2008 the Governing Council launched a public consultation on a glossary of terms relating to the technical aspects of payment, clearing and settlement systems in the EU, defined in a user-friendly and non-legalistic style in order to promote their acceptance. The glossary is intended to be used to ensure a consistent use of terms in all of the ESCB’s publications that relate to payments, clearing and settlement. It would also be available to other institutions of the European Community for reference, if deemed necessary. The public consultation will end on 1 January 2009 at the latest.

Draft ESCB-CESR recommendations for securities clearing and settlement systems and central counterparties in the EU – public consultation

On 16 October 2008 the Governing Council approved the launch of a public consultation on “Draft recommendations for securities clearing and settlement systems and draft recommendations for central counterparties in the European Union”, jointly with the Committee on European Securities Regulators (CESR). The consultation will end on 23 January 2009. During this time the ESCB and CESR will jointly organise an open hearing pertaining to these recommendations at the CESR office in Paris. The recommendations have been developed in the context of the joint work being done by the ESCB and CESR to increase safety, soundness and efficiency in the field of securities clearing and settlement. A press release announcing the launch of this public consultation was published on the ECB’s website on 23 October 2008.

Relayed link between Clearstream Banking Frankfurt via Clearstream Banking Luxembourg to Euroclear France

On 16 October 2008 the Governing Council approved a relayed link between Clearstream Banking AG Frankfurt via Clearstream Banking S.A. Luxembourg to Euroclear France as being eligible for the collateralisation of Eurosystem credit operations. A press release was published on 17 October 2008. The list of eligible relayed links and direct links was updated on the ECB’s website.

Evolution of the custody arrangement for international debt securities and their eligibility in Eurosystem credit operations

On 16 October 2008 the Governing Council assessed new custody arrangements for international debt securities and their eligibility in Eurosystem credit operations. The Governing Council found the arrangement for international debt securities in global registered form to be compliant with the Eurosystem’s “Standards for the use of EU securities settlement systems in ESCB credit operations”, subject to the conclusion of the necessary legal and contractual arrangements. In the case of international debt securities in individual note form, the Governing Council decided that, because of their diminishing importance, these assets will be withdrawn from the list of eligible assets for Eurosystem credit operations. A press release detailing the arrangements was published on the ECB’s website on 22 October 2008.

Advice on legislation

ECB Opinion on financial support measures in Ireland

On 3 October 2008, at the request of the Irish Minister for Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on financial support measures for credit institutions (CON/2008/44). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on Community legislation relating to medals and tokens similar to euro coins

On 8 October 2008, at the request of the Council of the European Union, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on medals and tokens similar to euro coins (CON/2008/45). The Opinion will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on a financial stability scheme in Belgium

On 8 October 2008, at the request of the Belgian Ministry of Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on a State guarantee covering credit extended by the Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique in the context of its contribution to financial stability (CON/2008/46). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on the exchange and withdrawal of banknotes in Sweden

On 9 October 2008, at the request of Sveriges Riksbank, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the exchange and withdrawal of banknotes and coins (CON/2008/47). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on financial support measures in Ireland

On 15 October 2008, at the request of the Irish Minister for Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the implementation of financial support measures for credit institutions (CON/2008/48). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on German legislation on the replacement of euro coins and German euro commemorative coins

On 16 October 2008, at the request of the German Ministry of Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the replacement of euro coins and German euro commemorative coins (CON/2008/49). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on a financial stability scheme in Belgium

On 17 October 2008, at the request of the request of the Belgian Ministry of Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on a State guarantee covering liabilities of credit institutions (CON/2008/50). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on Greek deposit guarantee and investor protection schemes

On 17 October 2008, at the request of the Hellenic Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on deposit guarantee and investor protection schemes (CON/2008/51). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on a financial stability scheme in Spain

On 17 October 2008, at the request of the Spanish State Secretary for Economic Affairs, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the creation of a financial asset acquisition fund and on other Government measures contributing to financial stability (CON/2008/52). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on the collection of statistical information in Poland

On 17 October 2008, at the request of the Polish Minister for Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the legal framework for Narodowy Bank Polski’s collection of statistical information (CON/2008/53). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on a financial stability scheme in Denmark

On 17 October 2008, at the request of the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on a financial stability scheme guaranteeing full coverage of claims by depositors and ordinary creditors (CON/2008/54). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on legal measures to restore the stability of the financial market in Austria

On 20 October 2008, at the request of the Austrian Ministry of Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on legal measures to restore the stability of the financial market (CON/2008/55). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on a financial stability scheme in France

On 21 October 2008, at the request of the Banque de France, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the provision of State guarantees in order to contribute to financial stability (CON/2008/56). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on a financial stability scheme in Germany

On 21 October 2008, at the request of the German Ministry of Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the establishment of a Financial Market Stabilisation Fund and on other financial stability measures (CON/2008/57). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on a financial stability scheme in Italy

On 23 October 2008, at the request of the Banca d’Italia on behalf of the Italian Ministry for Economic Affairs and Finance, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on measures to guarantee the stability of the banking system (CON/2008/58). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

Corporate Governance

Good Practices for the selection and mandate of External Auditors according to Article 27.1 of the ESCB/ECB Statute

On 23 October 2008 the Governing Council approved the publication of “Good Practices for the selection and mandate of External Auditors according to Article 27.1 of the ESCB/ECB Statute”. The Good Practices enable the Governing Council to ensure that its recommendation to the EU Council on the appointment of NCB external auditors is guided by harmonised and proper selection criteria.

Chairmanship of the Banknote Committee (BANCO)

On 23 October 2008 the Governing Council appointed, with effect from 1 December 2008, Mr Ton Roos, Director Banknotes in the ECB’s Directorate Banknotes as of 1 November 2008, as the chairman of BANCO. His term of office will expire on 31 August 2010 so as to coincide with the expiry of the terms of office of all Eurosystem/ESCB committee chairpersons and the Budget Committee chairman, who were (re)appointed by the Governing Council on 19 July 2007 for a three-year period.

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