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Discover ECB topics through multimedia.

TLTROs explained

30 March 2021

Targeted longer-term refinancing operations encourage banks to keep affordable credit flowing to people and businesses. This, in turn, supports spending and investment in the economy. Christine Lagarde explains how they work.


The ECB Explains: why cash matters

18 February 2021

Do we need cash in a digital world? Our colleague Chiara explains how cash plays a key role in our society and what we are doing to make sure that you can access and use cash whenever and wherever you need to.


The ECB Explains: swap lines

4 November 2020

Swap lines are one part of our central bank toolkit. But what are they? And why do we use them? Our colleague Imène explains why they are an important tool for preserving financial stability and can help prevent market tension from affecting the real economy.


The ECB Explains: reliable statistics

20 October 2020

Why do we need reliable data? And who produces it? Our colleague Rita explains how the ECB ensures that its statistics are accurate, consistent and timely.


The ECB Explains: ethical hacking

21 August 2020

We developed a framework for ethical hacking in 2018. What does this mean? Our colleague Emran explains what an ethical hacker does and how this helps to test the resilience and weaknesses of banks.


The ECB Explains: foreign reserves

21 August 2020

Foreign reserves are foreign currencies, or other assets, held by central banks – like us – and other authorities. Our colleague Joaquim explains the role of foreign reserves and, in particular, the characteristics of those held by the ECB.


The ECB Explains: euro banknote signatures

21 August 2020

Our banknotes have plenty of fascinating features. A good example is the ECB President’s signature. Our colleague Sarai explains how the signature feature helps to ensure trust in the euro area’s single currency.


The ECB Explains: the banking union

21 August 2020

The banking union allows EU banking rules to be applied consistently. This helps to ensure the banking system is resilient. Our colleague Filipa explains the basis of the banking union and how it ensures people in Europe can confidently save, spend or borrow money.


The ECB Explains: European banking supervision

21 August 2020

As European banking supervisor, we check that banks comply with the rules. Our colleague François explains how this ultimately serves the people of Europe, as it helps to ensure banks are safe and sound.


The ECB Explains: forward guidance

11 December 2019

When a central bank gives forward guidance, it provides information about its future actions. At the ECB, we do this by making statements about our monetary policy intentions at our press conferences. Our ECB colleague Michael explains how forward guidance can help boost the economy.


The ECB Explains: crypto-assets

21 November 2019

New technologies may affect the way we pay in the future. As the central bank for the euro, one of our objectives is to ensure that payments are made safely and efficiently across the euro area. ECB colleague Maria Teresa explains the benefits and risks of crypto-assets.


The ECB Explains: accountability

13 November 2019

The ECB is an independent institution that uses its instruments to fulfil its mandate. We also explain our decisions to European people and their elected representatives at the European Parliament. Watch ECB colleague Jean-François to find out more.


How do our policies affect you locally?

16 October 2018

Executive Board member Benoît Cœuré visited the Vorwerk factory in Cloyes-sur-le-Loir, France. He talked to locals about how the ECB has made it more attractive for banks to lend to businesses. This means better conditions for businesses, helping to create more jobs.


How the ECB’s policy has reduced inequality

27 July 2018

The ECB’s monetary policy measures since 2014 have not only helped growth and eliminated the risk of deflation – they have also reduced overall inequality in the euro area, new research confirms. Take a look at our explainer video to find out how.


How are Executive Board members chosen?

8 June 2018

Have you ever wondered how our Executive Board members are appointed? Elected national representatives decide at European level who can join the Board for a non-renewable eight-year term. Find out who proposes the candidates and how they are selected.


How does the euro help Europeans do business?

9 May 2018

Small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of the euro area economy. Find out how entrepreneurs and small business owners benefit from the single currency.


How do we protect our money against cyberattacks?

2 May 2018

We put our money in the bank for safekeeping. But what if someone hacks into the bank’s computers? Watch our video explainer on how the ECB is helping the financial system stay safe by encouraging “ethical hacking”…


What is TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS)?

17 October 2017

Find out more about TIPS, the new service coming at the end of 2018 that will make life easier for businesses and individuals.


Why are interest rates low?

4 October 2017

Find out why low interest rates are needed to keep prices stable.


Coming soon: cross-border instant payments

2 October 2017

With so much now available to us in an instant, you may be wondering why bank transfers can still take up to 24 hours. The ECB is working to change this.


How do Europeans pay?

12 April 2017

The ECB released its new €50 banknote with upgraded security features on 4 April 2017. Find out more about how Europeans pay nowadays.


The euro: opening doors for Europeans

7 February 2017

European leaders signed the Maastricht Treaty 25 years ago, a milestone for European integration that paved the way for the euro. Take a look at how our single currency has made it easier for Europeans to travel, study and work abroad.


The euro outside Europe

24 January 2017

Some 339 million people in the euro area use euro banknotes and coins in their daily lives. But did you know the euro is also used in a number of places outside the European Union and beyond the European continent? Take a look at our maps to find out where.


Infographic: How quantitative easing works

9 December 2016

The ECB’s asset purchase programmes support economic growth and help us meet our inflation objective. Find out about how the programmes work, the role of commercial banks and how these measures influence businesses and consumers.


Inside the APP

6 June 2016

Take a look behind the scenes at the people designing and carrying out the ECB's asset purchase programme and find out more about the why and how of quantitative easing in the euro area.


TLTRO-II explained

10 March 2016

What is the new series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations and why is it needed? ECB President Mario Draghi provides an insight.


How does T2S support a single capital market in Europe?

2 July 2015

See how T2S, the new platform for securities settlement, makes it easier and less expensive for securities to “travel” in Europe and benefits firms and investors.


Who joined the euro area when?

1 January 2015

Explore this interactive map to find out which countries are part of the euro area and when they joined.


ECB premises – from vision to reality

10 December 2014

Since November 2014 ECB staff moved into a new building in Frankfurt’s Ostend. Watch this short time-lapse video to see how it was built.


Decision-making in ECB Banking Supervision

4 November 2014

Learn how decisions on banking supervision are taken under the non-objection procedure.


Integration of market infrastructure

24 September 2014

Integrated market infrastructure in Europe means a single, efficient “plumbing system” underpinning the market. See how the infrastructure for payment and securities settlement benefits citizens, firms and investors.


What do negative interest rates mean for me?

5 June 2014

The Governing Council introduced a negative interest rate on the deposit facility on 5 June 2014. ECB President Mario Draghi explains what the rate decision means for savers in the euro area.


SSM explained in three minutes

24 March 2014

Watch this video about the Single Supervisory Mechanism and learn how banks are supervised in Europe.


The ECB and the Eurosystem explained

26 September 2013

What is inflation? Why is price stability important for you? Find the answers to these questions and more in this three-minute introduction to the ECB and the Eurosystem’s role and tasks.


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