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Monetary policy glossary


covered bond purchase programme


See correspondent central banking model (CCBM)


credit default swap

central bank credit facility

A standing credit facility which can be drawn upon by certain designated account holders (e.g. banks) at a central bank. The facility can be used automatically at the initiative of the account holder. The loans typically take the form of either advances or overdrafts on an account holder's current account which may be secured by a pledge of securities or by repurchase agreements. See also repurchase agreement

central bank independence

The legal provision which guarantees that a central bank can carry out its tasks and duties without political interference. Article 130 TFEU establishes the principle of central bank independence for the euro area.

central rate

The exchange rate of each ERM II member’s currency vis-à-vis the euro, around which the ERM II fluctuation margins are defined. See also exchange rate mechanism II (ERM II)

close link

A situation in which, according to Directive 2006/48/EC “two or more natural or legal persons are linked in any of the following ways: (a) participation in the form of ownership, direct or by way of control, of 20 % or more of the voting rights or capital of an undertaking; (b) control; or (c) the fact that both or all are permanently linked to one and the same third person by a control relationship.”


An asset or third-party commitment that is used by a collateral provider to secure an obligation vis-à-vis a collateral taker. See also collateral pool, pledge, repurchase agreement

collection of fixed-term deposits

A monetary policy instrument available to the Eurosystem for fine-tuning purposes. The Eurosystem offers remuneration on counterparties' fixed-term deposits on accounts with the national central banks in order to absorb liquidity from the market.

consolidated MFI balance sheet

A balance sheet obtained by netting out inter-MFI positions (e.g. inter-MFI loans and deposits) in the aggregated MFI balance sheet. It provides statistical information on the MFI sector’s assets and liabilities vis-à-vis residents of the euro area not belonging to this sector (i.e. the general government and other euro area residents) and vis-à-vis non-euro area residents. It is the main statistical source for the calculation of monetary aggregates, and it provides the basis for the regular analysis of the counterparts of M3.

contingent liability

Obligation that arises only upon the realisation of a particular event (e.g. state guarantee).

convergence criteria

The four criteria set out in Article 140(1) TFEU that must be fulfilled by each EU Member State before it can adopt the euro, namely a stable price level, sound public finances (a deficit and a level of debt that are both limited in terms of GDP), a stable exchange rate and low and stable long-term interest rates. In addition, each EU Member State must ensure the compatibility of its national legislation, including the statutes of the national central bank, with both the TFEU and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank.

convergence programme

A programme outlining the path towards the achievement of reference values indicated in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, containing medium-term government plans and assumptions regarding the development of key economic variables. Measures to consolidate fiscal balances are also highlighted, together with underlying economic scenarios. Convergence programmes normally cover the following three to four years and are updated annually. They are examined by the European Commission and the Economic and Financial Committee, whose reports serve as the basis for an assessment by the ECOFIN Council. Following the start of Stage Three of Economic and Monetary Union, EU Member States with a derogation continue to submit convergence programmes, whereas countries which are members of the euro area present annual stability programmes, in accordance with the Stability and Growth Pact. See also Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)

correspondent central banking model (CCBM)

A mechanism established by the European System of Central Banks with the aim of enabling counterparties to use eligible collateral in a cross-border context. In the CCBM, national central banks act as custodians for one another. This means that each national central bank has a securities account in its securities administration for each of the other national central banks and the ECB.

cost of the external financing of non-financial corporations

The cost incurred by non-financial corporations when taking up new external funds. For euro area non-financial corporations, it is calculated as a weighted average of the cost of bank lending, the cost of debt securities and the cost of equity, based on the amounts outstanding (corrected for valuation effects) and deflated by inflation expectations.


The opposite party in a financial transaction (e.g. any party transacting with a central or commercial bank).

credit institution

Any institution that is either (i) an undertaking whose business is to receive deposits or other repayable funds from the public and to grant credit for its own account, or (ii) an undertaking or any other legal person, other than those under (i), which issues means of payment in the form of electronic money. See also electronic money

credit to euro area residents

A broad measure of the financing of non-monetary financial institution (MFI) euro area residents (including general government and the private sector) provided by the MFI sector. It is defined as including MFI loans to euro area residents and MFI holdings of securities issued by euro area residents. The latter include shares, other equity and debt securities. As securities can be seen as an alternative source of funds to loans, and as some loans can be securitised, this definition provides more accurate information on the total amount of financing provided by the MFI sector to the economy than a narrow definition comprising loans only.

cross-currency swap

A contractual agreement with a counterparty to exchange cash flows representing streams of periodic interest payments in two different currencies. See also interest rate swap


See central securities depository (CSD)


corporate sector purchase programme

currency in circulation

Banknotes and coins in circulation that are commonly used to make payments. Currency in circulation as included in M3 is a net concept, meaning that it refers only to banknotes and coins in circulation that are held outside the MFI sector (i.e. currency held by MFIs or "vault cash" has been subtracted). Excluded are central banks' stocks of own banknotes (as they have not been put into circulation) and collector coins (as they are not intended for use in making payments).

current transfers

Transfers of the general government (e.g. relating to international cooperation), payments of current taxes on income and wealth, and other transfers, such as workers’ remittances, which are not related to capital expenditure; they also include production and import subsidies, social benefits and transfers to EU institutions. See also general government

cyclical component of the budget balance

The effect on the budget balance of the output gap. See also output gap