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Martin Adler

28 March 2023
In implementing its monetary policy, the ECB conducts collateralised credit operations with banks. The bulk of the financial risks involved in these collateralised credit operations are mitigated primarily by the valuation haircuts imposed on the mobilised collateral. Since the establishment of the euro in January 1999, valuation haircuts have been formulated mainly on the basis of risk management considerations and have been systematically calibrated with a very low level of risk tolerance. However, their implied risk tolerance may sometimes be used as a monetary policy stance lever, as clearly illustrated when the ECB decided to reduce haircuts to improve funding conditions for the real economy during the outset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, the ECB ensures that financial market developments warranting general methodological changes are incorporated into the calibration of valuation haircuts adequately and in good time. In a particularly challenging economic environment, the ECB has also recently committed to ensuring that climate change risks are considered when calibrating the valuation haircuts applied to corporate bonds. Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and explanation of the main guiding rules, as well as explaining some of the statistical methods currently employed by the ECB when formulating valuation haircuts. Keywords: monetary policy implementation, risk control framework of credit operations, valuation haircuts
JEL Code
D02 : Microeconomics→General→Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming