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

March 2008

Monetary Policy

Central bank compliance with prohibitions on monetary financing and privileged access

On 27 March 2008, in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community, which assigns to the ECB the task of monitoring the compliance of central banks with the prohibitions referred to in Articles 101 and 102 thereof and the related Regulations, the Governing Council approved the report covering the year 2007. Further information on this matter will be provided in a dedicated section of the ECB’s Annual Report 2007 which will be made public on 21 April 2008.

Operational Issues

Specific measures to address liquidity pressures in funding markets

On 11 March 2008 the Governing Council decided to take joint action with the Federal Reserve System under the Term Auction Facility by offering US dollar funding to Eurosystem counterparties to address renewed pressures in short-term funding markets, similarly to what was done in December 2007 and January 2008. A press release on the joint action announced by the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the ECB, the Federal Reserve System and the Swiss National Bank was published on the ECB’s website on 11 March 2008.

Supplementary six-month longer-term refinancing operations and continuation of the supplementary three‑month longer-term refinancing operations

On 27 March 2008 the Governing Council decided to conduct supplementary longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs) with a maturity of six months. In addition, the Governing Council decided to conduct further supplementary LTROs with a three-month maturity. The regular monthly LTROs remain unaffected. These supplementary three-month and six-month LTROs are aimed at supporting the normalisation of the functioning of the euro money market. A press release was published today on the ECB’s website.

Payment Systems and Market Infrastructure

Clarifications of the Eurosystem policy statement on consolidation in central counterparty clearing

On 27 March 2008 the Governing Council adopted clarifications to its “Eurosystem policy statement on consolidation in central counterparty clearing in relation to the Code of Conduct for clearing and settlement” which will be made available shortly on the ECB’s website. The Governing Council clarified that the Eurosystem policy statement cannot be interpreted as an impediment or an obstacle to any specific market initiative, including the interoperability linkages being implemented within the framework of the Code of Conduct. The Governing Council also reaffirmed, inter alia, its views that standards for risk management for central counterparties need to be established, that there is a need for a “domestic” infrastructure located in the euro area, and that the process of consolidation should in general be driven by the private sector provided conditions of open and fair access are met.

Financial Stability and Supervision

ECB Report on Financial Integration 2008

The second edition of the ECB report on financial integration will be released in April 2008. This edition of the report presents the state of financial integration in the euro area and the Eurosystem’s activities with respect to financial integration, as well as four selected features which include the integration and development of mortgage markets in the euro area. The report will be made available on the ECB’s website.

Advice on Legislation

ECB Opinion on the supervision of auditors in Portugal

On 26 February 2008, at the request of the Portuguese Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the supervision of auditors and the role of the Banco de Portugal in this respect (CON/2008/11). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on Community external trade statistics

On 3 March 2008, at the request of the Council of the European Union, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries (CON/2008/12). The Opinion was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 15 March 2008 and is also available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on the reform of the Greek social security system in relation to the Bank of Greece

On 19 March 2008, on its own initiative, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on the reform of the Greek social security system in relation to the Bank of Greece (CON/2008/13).The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

ECB Opinion on the educational qualifications of Supervisory Board members, access to information and the external auditors in Eesti Pank.

On 25 March 2008, at the request of Riigikogu, the Governing Council adopted an Opinion on administrative amendments to the Law on Eesti Pank (CON/2008/14). The Opinion is available on the ECB’s website.

Statistics

2007 Quality reports on the statistics for the euro area

On 19 March 2008 the Governing Council took note of the annual assessment of the availability and quality of euro area statistics which are needed by the ECB. The report on the quality of the euro area balance of payments and international investment position statistics, which includes quantitative quality indicators, will be published shortly on the ECB’s website.

International and European Cooperation

On 17 March 2008 the Governing Council approved a Eurosystem cooperation programme on banking supervision and internal audit with the Bank of Russia. This new Eurosystem-wide programme of technical assistance was negotiated with the EU Delegation in Russia and the Bank of Russia. In a public ceremony the Vice-President of the ECB signed the agreement on behalf of the Eurosystem on 20 March 2008 in Moscow. A related press release was published on the ECB’s website on that day.

Corporate Governance

ECB’s Annual Accounts 2007

On 6 March 2008 the Governing Council approved the audited Annual Accounts of the ECB for the financial year 2007. The accounts, together with a related press release, were published on the ECB’s website on that day.

Banknotes

Three-year extended custodial inventory (ECI) programme in Asia

On 27 March 2008 the Governing Council approved the launch of a three-year ECI programme for euro banknotes in Asia and, as in the case of the ECI pilot project implemented for one year in March 2007, decided that the Deutsche Bundesbank would be the logistical counterpart for the ECI banks. An ECI is intended to facilitate the international distribution of euro banknotes and to provide market intelligence on their circulation outside the euro area. Further to this decision, a formal procurement procedure will take place and the current agreements between the ECB, the Deutsche Bundesbank and the pilot ECI banks will be prolonged to cover the procurement phase in order to avoid any disruption of operations undertaken under the pilot project.

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