Last updated on 1 January 2023
The capital of the ECB comes from the national central banks (NCBs) of all EU Member States and amounts to €10,825,007,069.61.
The NCBs’ shares in this capital are calculated using a key which reflects the respective country’s share in the total population and gross domestic product of the EU. These two determinants have equal weighting. The ECB adjusts the shares every five years and whenever there is a change in the number of NCBs that contribute to the ECB’s capital. These NCBs are those whose countries are Member States of the EU. The adjustment is made on the basis of data provided by the European Commission. The latest adjustment took place on 1 February 2020 following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.
Euro area national central banks
The fully paid-up subscriptions of euro area NCBs to the capital of the ECB amount to a total of €8,875,217,621.22 and break down as follows:
Non-euro area national central banks
The EU’s seven non-euro area NCBs are required to contribute to the operational costs incurred by the ECB in relation to their participation in the European System of Central Banks by paying up a small percentage of their share in the ECB’s subscribed capital. Since 29 December 2010 their contributions have represented 3.75% of their total share in the subscribed capital. The capital paid to the ECB by the non-euro area NCBs amounts to €73,117,104.33 and breaks down as follows:
The non-euro area NCBs are not entitled to receive any share of the distributable profits of the ECB, nor are they liable to fund any losses of the ECB.
Eurosystem capital key
The Eurosystem capital key is the capital key used, for example, to guide most purchases in some of the ECB’s purchase programmes because it includes only the euro area national central banks.
Allocation of net profits and losses of the ECB
The net profits and losses of the ECB are allocated among the euro area NCBs in accordance with Article 33 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank:
33.1. The net profit of the ECB shall be transferred in the following order:
- an amount to be determined by the Governing Council, which may not exceed 20% of the net profit, shall be transferred to the general reserve fund subject to a limit equal to 100% of the capital;
- the remaining net profit shall be distributed to the shareholders of the ECB in proportion to their paid-up shares.
33.2. In the event of a loss incurred by the ECB, the shortfall may be offset against the general reserve fund of the ECB and, if necessary, following a decision by the Governing Council, against the monetary income of the relevant financial year in proportion and up to the amounts allocated to the national central banks in accordance with Article 32.5.