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

February 2018

Market operations

Update of the list of euro foreign exchange reference rates

On 26 January 2018 the Governing Council decided to again include the Icelandic króna in the list of currencies for which the ECB publishes daily euro foreign exchange reference rates. The reporting of this currency was suspended in December 2008 in the absence of a reliable market-determined exchange rate following the introduction of capital controls by the Icelandic authorities. The lifting of those controls in March 2017 and the return of a reliable market-determined exchange rate has justified the reinclusion, which is effective from 1 February 2018. The foreign exchange reference rates, which are based on a regular concertation procedure between central banks across Europe generally held at 14:15 CET each working day, are usually updated daily, at around 16:00 CET.

Annual review of acceptable non-regulated markets, issuers classified as multilateral development banks or international organisations, and issuers classified as agencies in haircut category II

On 26 January 2018 the Governing Council reviewed i) the list of acceptable non-regulated markets for assets eligible as collateral for Eurosystem monetary policy operations, ii) the list of issuers classified as multilateral development banks and international organisations, and iii) the list of issuers classified as agencies in haircut category II. The first two lists remain unchanged. As regards the third list (issuers classified as agencies in haircut category II), Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Nederlandse Waterschapsbank have been included, while Cassa Depositi e Prestiti has been removed as it no longer meets certain quantitative thresholds set by the ECB for allocating the securities issued by some agencies in haircut category II. The lists, which were updated accordingly on 1 February 2018, have been published on the ECB’s website.

Amendments to the legal framework for the implementation of Eurosystem monetary policy

On 7 February 2018 the Governing Council adopted three guidelines (Guidelines ECB/2018/3, ECB/2018/4 and ECB/2018/5) amending, respectively, the Guideline on the implementation of the Eurosystem monetary policy (ECB/2014/60), the Guideline on the valuation haircuts applied in the implementation of the Eurosystem monetary policy framework (ECB/2015/35) and the Guideline on additional temporary measures relating to Eurosystem refinancing operations and eligibility of collateral (ECB/2014/31). A related press release providing detailed information on the changes introduced in these amending legal acts is available on the ECB’s website.

Extension of the additional credit claims (ACC) frameworks

On 9 February 2018 the Governing Council approved the extension of the additional credit claims (ACC) frameworks in their current format until the maturity date of the final targeted longer-term refinancing operation in the second series (TLTRO II), which is scheduled for 24 March 2021. The ACC frameworks were introduced in 2011 to allow Eurosystem national central banks (NCBs) to accept as collateral certain credit claims which were not compliant with the eligibility rules and/or credit quality standards established in Guideline ECB/2014/60 on the implementation of the Eurosystem monetary policy. The acceptance of the ACC frameworks of NCBs is subject to prior approval by the Governing Council, and is subject to the condition that losses arising from the acceptance of an ACC are borne solely by the NCB accepting it. More detailed information on the ACC frameworks is available on the ECB’s website.

Market infrastructure and payments

Establishment of a Euro Cyber Resilience Board for pan-European Financial Infrastructures

On 26 January 2018 the Governing Council approved the establishment of a Euro Cyber Resilience Board (ECRB) for pan-European Financial Infrastructures, with the objective of enhancing the cyber resilience of financial market infrastructures and their critical service providers, as well as the wider EU financial sector. The ECRB, chaired by a member of the Executive Board of the ECB, will bring together representatives of i) pan-European financial market infrastructures and their critical service providers, ii) Eurosystem lead overseers of pan-European financial infrastructures (i.e. seven NCBs and the ECB), and iii) three other ESCB NCBs on a rotational basis. The European Commission, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, the European Banking Authority, the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the European Securities and Markets Authority, Europol, and the ECB’s Directorate General Information Systems will be invited as observers. General information on the ECRB will be provided on the ECB’s website.

Eligibility of new relayed links between securities settlement systems

On 1 February 2018 the Governing Council approved nine new relayed links from Clearstream Banking AG Frankfurt CBF-CREATION, Clearstream Banking S.A. Luxembourg (CBL) and LuxCSD to Euroclear France, Euroclear Nederland and Monte Titoli via CBF-system and also via CBL for the links from CBF-CREATION as eligible for use in Eurosystem credit operations. The list of eligible links available on the ECB’s website will be updated once the new relayed links become operational.

Advice on legislation

ECB Opinion on organising the central register of bank accounts and financial transactions in Belgium

On 26 January 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/4 at the request of the Belgian Ministry of Finance.

ECB Opinion on key information documents for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products in Slovenia

On 31 January 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/5 at the request of the Slovenian Ministry of Finance.

ECB Opinion on funding sources and governance of the Malta Financial Services Authority

On 6 February 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/6 at the request of the Central Bank of Malta.

ECB Opinion on the reliance of credit institutions on funds originating from financial corporations in Hungary

On 6 February 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/7 at the request of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank.

ECB Opinion on the return of monetary funds to the Republic of Slovenia from designated tax havens

On 14 February 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/8 at the request of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia.

ECB Opinion on additional macro-prudential tools for residential mortgages in Luxembourg

On 19 February 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/9 at the request of the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance.

ECB Opinion on conferring new tasks relating to interchange fees for card-based payment transactions to the Central Bank of Cyprus

On 14 February 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/10 at the request of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus.

ECB Opinion on conferring new tasks relating to interchange fees for card-based payment transactions to the Bank of Greece

On 15 February 2018 the Governing Council adopted Opinion CON/2018/11 at the request of the Greek Ministry of Finance.

Corporate governance

ECB Recommendation to the Council of the European Union on the external auditors of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank

On 26 January 2018 the Governing Council adopted Recommendation ECB/2018/1 to the Council of the European Union on the external auditors of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. The Recommendation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the ECB’s website.

ECB’s Annual Accounts 2017

On 21 February 2018 the Governing Council approved the audited financial statements of the ECB for the financial year 2017. The Annual Accounts, together with a related press release, were published on the ECB’s website on 22 February 2018. The management report for the year 2017 was published as part of the ECB’s Annual Accounts.

Statistics

ECB Regulation on statistical reporting requirements for pension funds

On 26 January 2018 the Governing Council adopted Regulation ECB/2018/2 on statistical reporting requirements for pension funds. This Regulation, which follows an ECB public consultation and an extensive stakeholder consultation process as well as arrangements with other bodies (e.g. EIOPA) with a view to minimising the reporting burden of the industry, was published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the ECB’s website.

Dialogue between the Eurosystem/ESCB Statistics Committee and the banking industry on statistical issues

On 31 January 2018 the Governing Council approved the setting-up of annual meetings to facilitate discussion of statistical issues between the members of the Eurosystem/ESCB Statistics Committee (the STC) and representatives of the banking industry. As projects to develop or enhance ESCB statistics extend over the medium term and have a significant impact on those members of the financial industry subject to reporting obligations, it is expected that these meetings will allow a regular exchange of information on current initiatives and the policy reasons underpinning them, and help ensure a more positive interaction with reporting banks. The first meeting is anticipated to take place in March 2018. More detailed information on these meetings will be provided on the ECB’s website.

Banking supervision

Conduct of the 2018 EU-wide stress test with the European Banking Authority (EBA)

On 31 January 2018 the ECB announced that it would examine 37 euro area banks, representing 70% of total euro area banking assets, as part of the 2018 EU-wide stress test conducted with the European Banking Authority (EBA). This EU-wide stress test will be conducted according to the EBA’s methodology, templates and scenarios, and the results of individual banks are expected to be published by 2 November 2018. A related press release is available on the ECB’s banking supervision website.

Compliance with EBA Guidelines on disclosure requirements relating to IFRS 9 transitional arrangements

On 7 February 2018 the Governing Council did not object to a proposal by the Supervisory Board to notify the EBA that, for significant institutions under its supervision, the ECB intends to comply with the EBA Guidelines on uniform disclosures under Article 473a of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR)) as regards the transitional period for mitigating the impact of the introduction of IFRS 9 on own funds (EBA/GL/2018/01). These Guidelines, which will apply from 20 March 2018, follow the disclosure requirements proposed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to take into account the impact of IFRS 9 transitional arrangements on capital and leverage ratios, with a view to implementing the CRR disclosure requirements in a manner that is consistent with international standards.

Guide to assessments of licence applications and guide to assessments of fintech credit institution licence applications

On 8 February 2018 the Governing Council did not object to a proposal by the Supervisory Board to publish the guide to assessments of licence applications and the guide to assessments of fintech credit institution licence applications, both as amended following the related public consultation. The guides, together with the feedback statement on the public consultation, will be available shortly on the ECB’s banking supervision website.

Decision to impose a moratorium on ABLV Bank

On 19 February 2018 the Governing Council did not object to a proposal by the Supervisory Board to impose a moratorium on ABLV Bank whereby, temporarily, and until further notice, ABLV Bank is prohibited from making any payment on its financial liabilities. A related press release is available on the ECB’s banking supervision website.

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