ECB glossary

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F

financial asset
Any asset that is (i) cash; or (ii) a contractual right to receive cash or another financial instrument from another enterprise; or (iii) a contractual right to exchange financial instruments with another enterprise under conditions that are potentially favourable; or (iv) an equity instrument of another enterprise.
financial liability
Any liability that is a legal obligation to deliver cash or another financial instrument to another enterprise or to exchange financial instruments with another enterprise under conditions that are potentially unfavourable.
financial stability
The condition in which the financial system – comprising financial intermediaries, markets and market infrastructures – is capable of withstanding shocks and the unravelling of financial imbalances, thereby mitigating the likelihood of disruptions in the financial intermediation process which are severe enough to significantly impair the allocation of savings to profitable investment opportunities.
fiscal compact
A part (Title III) of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union which stipulates that the budgetary position of the general government of signatory Member States shall be balanced or in surplus. See also
general government
Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG)
foreign currency holding
The net position in the respective currency. For the purpose of this definition special drawing rights (SDRs) shall be considered as a separate currency.
foreign exchange operations
The buying or selling of foreign exchange. In the context of the Eurosystem, this means buying or selling other currencies against euro.
forward guidance
A communication by the Governing Council as regards its expectations for the future path of the key ECB interest rates following its meeting on 4 July 2013.
forward transactions in securities
Over-the-counter contracts in which the purchase or sale of an interest rate instrument (usually a bond or note) is agreed on the contract date, for delivery at a future date, at a given price.