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

December 2004

Economic, Monetary and Financial Situation

Bank Lending Survey

The results of the euro area Bank Lending Survey will henceforth be published on the day after the first Governing Council meeting in February, May, August and November.

External Communication

Annual Report

The publication of the ECB Annual Report 2004 is scheduled for 26 April 2005.

ECB Opinions

As of January 2005, Opinions on draft national legislation will, as a rule, be published immediately following their adoption and subsequent transmission to the consulting authority, as is already the case for Opinions on draft EU legislation.

Operational Issues

Euro Bond Market Study 2004

The Euro Bond Market Study 2004, prepared by the Market Operations Committee (MOC), was published on 3 December 2004. The report and a press release are available on the ECB’s website.

Eurosystem reserve management services

The Governing Council approved the inclusion of the non-euro area Member States and their respective NCBs as eligible customers of the Eurosystem reserve management services framework and adopted a Guideline on Eurosystem reserve management services. The Guideline (ECB/2004/20), which will allow for these services to start on 1 January 2005, will be made public by the end of the year on the ECB’s website and in the Official Journal of the EU.

Payment Systems

The single euro payments area (SEPA)

A report entitled “Towards a single euro payments area - third progress report”, prepared by the Payment and Settlement Systems Committee (PSSC), was published on 2 December 2004. The report and a press release are available on the ECB’s website.

TARGET2

Based on a report prepared by the PSSC, the Governing Council on 16 December 2004 accepted the offer made by three national central banks (Deutsche Bundesbank, Banque de France and Banca d’Italia) and approved the building of a Single Shared Platform for TARGET2 operations. Further details on the characteristics of TARGET2 will be made available in the course of February 2005.

Financial Stability and Supervision

Banking structures in the new Member States

A report entitled “Report on banking structures in the new Member States”, prepared by the Banking Supervision Committee (BSC), was approved on 16 December 2004. It contains a detailed analysis of the banking structures in the new Member States. The report aims at complementing the analysis of the condition and stability of the banking sectors of the new Member States which was incorporated into the 2004 report on “EU Banking Sector Stability”, published in November 2004. The banking structures report will be published in January 2005.

Advice on Legislation

Opinion on a draft law amending the Act on transfers of funds, electronic means of payment and payment systems and certain other laws including the Act on Česká národní banka and the Act on banks (CON/2004/37)

The Opinion was adopted at the request of Česká národní banka on 3 December 2004.

Opinion on a draft law amending the Act on investment associations and special-purpose associations and other collective investment undertakings etc. and the Financial Business Act (Hedge funds) (CON/2004/38)

The Opinion was adopted at the request of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority on 14 December 2004.

The above-mentioned Opinions will be published on the ECB’s website six months following their adoption, in accordance with the publication regime prevailing when they were adopted.

Statistics

Review of ECB statistical requirements in the field of general economic statistics

The first update of the ECB statistical requirements in the field of general economic statistics was approved. General economic statistics cover non-financial economic statistics for the euro area and EU Member States and are crucial for the monetary policy of the ECB. The updated report reviews the previously formulated requirements and takes into account new developments. It has been published in English on the ECB’s website today and will subsequently also be available in other official Community languages.

Adoption of Regulation ECB/2004/21 amending Regulation ECB/2001/13 and Regulation ECB/2001/18

The main purpose of Regulation ECB/2004/21 is to ensure that, irrespective of the forthcoming incorporation of the International Accounting Standard number 39 (IAS 39) on financial instruments into EU law, monetary financial institutions (MFIs) continue to report for statistical purposes their stock of loans and deposits at their nominal value. The Regulation will be published by the end of the year on the ECB’s website and in the Official Journal of the EU. It will enter into force on 1 January 2005.

International and European Cooperation

International role of the euro

The “Review of the international role of the euro” is produced on an annual basis and examines the role of the euro in global markets and countries outside the euro area. It presents the current state of the internationalisation of the euro, identifying the main developments and underlying trends as regards the role of the euro as an international financing currency, as a reserve currency and as a settlement or invoicing currency of trade. It will be published by mid-January 2005.

Issuance of Banknotes and Coins

Framework for the detection of counterfeits and fitness sorting by credit institutions and other professional cash handlers

A new framework laying down common principles and due diligence standards for authentication and fitness sorting of euro banknotes by credit institutions and other professional cash handlers was adopted. This framework mainly aims at effectively implementing a common policy regarding banknote recycling by credit institutions and other professional cash handlers that will contribute to the establishment of a single euro cash area. A notice on this framework will be published in January 2005.

Volume of coin issuance in 2005

A Decision on the approval of the volume of coin issuance in 2005 (ECB/2004/19) was adopted. The ECB approved the volume of new euro coins to be issued by the member countries of the euro area during the subsequent year. The Decision will be published on the ECB’s website and in the Official Journal of the EU by the end of the year.

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