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All glossary entries


advanced credit valuation adjustment


See Administrative Board of Review (ABoR)


asset-backed security


asset-backed securities purchase programme


This term has two meanings. 1) In the field of transfer systems, it refers to the inclusion of a transfer order for funds or securities in a system’s operations for further processing, potentially following various checks (e.g. regarding technical standards or the availability of funds), as specified in the rules of the system. 2) In the field of cards, it refers to the process whereby a particular brand of card is accepted by a terminal, merchant or other entity.


A merchant or other entity that accepts a payment instrument presented by a client in order to transfer funds to that merchant or other entity.

accession criteria

See Copenhagen criteria (accession criteria)


The legal and political obligation of an independent institution to properly explain and justify its decisions to the citizens and their elected representatives, thereby making it responsible for fulfilling its objectives. The ECB is accountable to the European citizens and, more formally, to the European Parliament.


See automated clearing house (ACH)

acquirer (card acquirer)

In point-of-sale (POS) transactions, the entity (usually a credit institution) to which the acceptor (usually a merchant) transmits the information necessary in order to process the card payment. In automated teller machine (ATM) transactions, the entity (usually a credit institution) which makes banknotes available to the cardholder (whether directly or via the use of third-party providers).

acquis communautaire

The body of EU legislation, including its interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union, by which all EU Member States are bound.


The day-count convention applied for the calculation of interest on a credit, implying that the interest is calculated over the actual number of calendar days over which the credit is extended, on the basis of a 360-day year. This day-count convention is applied in Eurosystem monetary policy operations. See also day-count convention

Administrative Board of Review (ABoR)

A governance structure of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, established by the ECB according to Article 24 of the SSM Regulation, for the purposes of carrying out, on request, independent internal administrative reviews of the supervisory decisions taken by the ECB and ensuring that such decisions conform with the ECB’s supervisory tasks and procedures. The Administrative Board of Review is composed of five individuals of high repute from Member States, with a proven record of professional supervisory experience and relevant knowledge in the fields of banking or other financial services (but not staff of a national competent authority, the ECB, or another EU institution). See also Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM)

advisory netting

See position netting (advisory netting)

agency relationship

A contractual relationship whereby one party (the agent) acts on behalf of another (the principal).

aggregated balance sheet of the MFI sector

See aggregated MFI balance sheet

aggregated MFI balance sheet

A balance sheet comprising the sums total of the data included in the harmonised balance sheets of all MFIs that are resident in the euro area (inter-MFI positions on a gross basis). The legal basis for the collection of harmonised balance sheet statistics is laid down in Regulation ECB/2008/32. This Regulation is complemented by Guideline ECB/2007/9, which sets out the procedures to be followed by NCBs when reporting information relating to money and banking statistics to the ECB.


alternative investment fund

Alert Mechanism Report

The first step of the EU’s surveillance procedure for preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances. In the report, the European Commission identifies EU Member States that will be subject to further in-depth analysis under the macroeconomic imbalance procedure. See also macroeconomic imbalance procedure (MIP)


advanced measurement approach


asset management company

American auction

See multiple rate auction (American auction)


Advisory Group on Market Infrastructures for Payments


Advisory Group on Market Infrastructures for Securities and Collateral


anti-money laundering


The systematic reduction in the accounts of the value of assets over a period of time or of the value of a premium/discount.

ancillary system

A system in which payments or securities are exchanged and/or cleared. Meanwhile, the ensuing monetary obligations are settled in another system, typically an RTGS system. See also real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system


application programming interface


asset purchase programme


A person who is proposed for a position in the management body or as a key function holder of an institution, or who has been appointed to such a position.


Advisory Scientific Committee


See automated security lending programme (ASLP)


A resource controlled by an enterprise as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the enterprise.

asset purchases

Given the effective lower bound on policy interest rates, asset purchases are a way for the ECB to create more favourable financing conditions for people and firms, and thus pursue its inflation target. By buying long-term bonds, the Eurosystem reduces the amount of interest rate risk borne by other investors, so the price of that risk and thus bond yields fall. Investors can also put the funds they receive from the Eurosystem into other assets. That pushes those asset prices up and yields down. Lower bond yields mean firms can finance investments more cheaply by issuing bonds, and banks are encouraged to make more loans to people and businesses, at lower rates. Asset purchases also send a signal about the ECB’s intention to keep financing conditions favourable, reducing uncertainty about future interest rate developments. Lastly, buying some types of asset directly lowers the market interest rate paid by the issuers and encourages banks to create more loans. See also effective lower bound (ELB)

asset servicing

Administration services provided by a central securities depository (CSD) or custodian in connection with the custody and/or safekeeping of financial instruments (e.g. the processing of corporate events or the handling of taxes).


Additional Tier 1


Advisory Technical Committee


See automated teller machine (ATM)


A security mechanism for verifying: 1) the identity of an individual or other entity (including verification by means of a computer or computer application); and 2) the level of authority of that person or entity (i.e. the ability of that person or entity to perform specific tasks or activities).


The consent given by a participant (or a third party acting on behalf of that participant) in order to transfer funds or securities.


A credit operation that is or can be triggered when a buyer does not have sufficient funds to settle a securities transaction in order to improve its cash position for the next settlement cycle. The credit provided can be secured using securities already held by the buyer (“collateral stocks”) or the securities that are being purchased (“collateral flows”).

automated clearing house (ACH)

An electronic clearing system in which payment orders are exchanged among participants (primarily via electronic media) and handled by a data-processing centre. See also clearing, clearing house

automated security lending programme (ASLP)

A financial operation combining repo and reverse repo transactions where specific collateral is lent against general collateral. As a result of these lending and borrowing transactions, income is generated through the different repo rates of the two transactions (i.e. the margin received). The operation may be conducted under a principal-based programme, i.e. the bank offering this programme is considered the final counterparty, or under an agency-based programme, i.e. the bank offering this programme acts only as agent, and the final counterparty is the institution with which the security lending transactions are effectively conducted.

automated teller machine (ATM)

An electromechanical device that allows authorised users, typically using machine-readable plastic cards, to withdraw cash from their accounts and/or access other services (allowing them, for example, to make balance enquiries, transfer funds or deposit money). See also cash dispenser

automatic fiscal stabilisers

The cyclical component of the budget balance. In contrast to discretionary fiscal policy, these are the changes in the budget balance caused by the automatic reaction of government revenue (particularly income taxes) and government expenditure (particularly welfare spending) to economic fluctuations. As such, they stabilise aggregate demand and thus reduce volatility in economic activity. See also budget balance, discretionary fiscal policy

automatic linking

A process whereby trading members may automatically link buy and sell trades by marking the respective securities trades. See also linked trade

autonomous liquidity factors

Liquidity factors that do not normally stem from the use of monetary policy instruments. They include, for example, banknotes in circulation, government deposits with the central bank and net foreign assets of the central bank.

average cost

The continued (or weighted) average method, by which the cost of every purchase is added to the existing book value to produce a new weighted average cost.

averaging provision

A provision allowing counterparties to fulfil their reserve requirements on the basis of their average reserve holdings over the maintenance period. The averaging provision contributes to the stabilisation of money market interest rates by giving institutions an incentive to smooth the effects of temporary liquidity fluctuations. The Eurosystem's minimum reserve system allows for averaging.