ECB PRESS RELEASE

Phasing-in of the changes to the Eurosystem’s operational framework for monetary policy in early 2004

12 January 2004

A series of changes to the Eurosystem’s operational framework for monetary policy will be implemented in the first quarter of 2004, all of which have already been announced in the course of 2003. These changes relate to:

  • the definition of the maintenance period for minimum reserves (which will always start on the settlement day of the main refinancing operation (MRO) following the Governing Council meeting at which the monthly assessment of the monetary policy stance is pre-scheduled);
  • the standing facilities (changes in the standing facility rates will, as a rule, be implemented on the first day of the new maintenance period);
  • the maturity of the MROs (shortened from two weeks to one week);
  • the execution date for the longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs will be allotted on the last Wednesday of each calendar month);
  • the risk control framework for assets eligible for credit operations with the Eurosystem (liquidity categories will be introduced for tier one assets and haircut levels for tier one and tier two assets will be revised; the calculation of initial margins for assets used as collateral in Eurosystem credit operations will be discontinued);
  • a more extensive definition of the characteristics of eligible guarantees for assets.

With the adoption on 1 December 2003 of Guideline ECB/2003/16 amending Guideline ECB/2000/7 on monetary policy instruments and procedures of the Eurosystem, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided that the revised framework would enter into force on 8 March 2004 The framework is detailed in an annex to the amending Guideline, entitled “The single monetary policy in the euro area: General documentation on Eurosystem monetary policy instruments and procedures” (generally referred to as the “General Documentation”). In order to ensure an orderly transition, some measures will be phased in at the end of January (see the calendar in the annex to this press release).

The General Documentation will be available as a separate publication on the ECB’s website at the end of January 2004. Hard copies will be available in all the official Community languages as from 8 March 2004.

For further reference, a list of all the published information relating to the changes in the operational framework and a summary of the main dates for the changes are annexed to this press release.

Annex: list of references relating to the changes in the Eurosystem’s operational framework for monetary policy

  • ECB Press Release dated 23 January 2003 entitled “Measures to improve the efficiency of the operational framework for monetary policy”
  • ECB Press Release dated 2 July 2003 entitled “New risk control framework for eligible assets”
  • ECB Press Release dated 1 August 2003 entitled “Publication of the indicative calendar for the Eurosystem’s tender operations in 2004”
  • Article in the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin (August 2003) entitled “Changes to the Eurosystem’s operational framework for monetary policy”
  • Regulation ECB/2003/9 of 12 September 2003 on the application of minimum reserves, published in the Official Journal of the European Union (Regulation (EC) No 1745/2003 of the ECB, in the Official Journal L 250 of 2 October 2003)
  • ECB Press Release dated 28 October 2003 entitled “Implementation of the new risk control framework: liquidity categories and issuer group classification”
  • Indicative calendar of reserve maintenance periods for 2004, prepared in accordance with Article 7(1) of Regulation ECB/2003/9, and published in the Official Journal of the European Union (Official Journal C 260 of 29 October 2003)

The phasing-in of the revised operational framework:

Transitional maintenance period begins on 24 January 2004
Last LTRO according to the old timetable allotted on 28 January 2004
First LTRO according to the new timetable allotted on 25 February 2004
Last two-week MRO allotted on 2 March 2004
New General Documentation enters into force 8 March 2004
New risk control framework applied from 8 March 2004
Transitional maintenance period ends on 9 March 2004
First one-week MRO allotted on 9 March 2004
First maintenance period under the new regime begins on 10 March 2004

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