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All glossary entries


domestic systemically important bank

daily processing

The complete cycle of processing tasks which need to be completed in a typical business day, from start-of-day procedures to end-of-day procedures. This sometimes includes the backing-up of data.

day-count convention

The convention regulating the number of days included in the calculation of interest on credits. The Eurosystem applies the day-count convention actual/360 in its monetary policy operations.

daylight credit


debit card (card with a debit function)

A card enabling its holders to make purchases and/or withdraw cash and have these transactions directly and immediately charged to their accounts, whether these are held with the card issuer or not. See also

debt (in the context of the financial accounts)

Loans, deposit liabilities, debt securities issued and pension fund reserves of non-financial corporations (created through direct pension commitments of employers on behalf of their employees), valued at market value at the end of the period. However, due to data limitations, the debt given in the quarterly financial accounts does not include loans granted by non-financial sectors (e.g., inter-company loans) or by banks outside the euro area, whereas these components are included in the annual financial accounts.

debt market

The market in which the debt instruments are issued and traded. Securitised debt has to be repaid by the issuer at maturity. See also

debt ratio

The subject of one of the fiscal criteria used to define the existence of an excessive deficit, as laid down in Article 126(2) TFEU. It is defined as the ratio of government debt to gross domestic product at current market prices, while government debt is defined in Protocol No 12 (on the excessive deficit procedure) as the total gross debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the year and consolidated between and within the sectors of general government.

debt security

A negotiable financial instrument serving as evidence of a promise on the part of the issuer (the borrower) to make one or more payment(s) to the holder (the lender) on a specified future date or dates. Such securities usually carry a specific rate of interest (the coupon) and/or are sold at a discount to the amount that will be repaid at maturity. Debt securities issued with an original maturity of more than one year are classified as long-term. Money market paper and, in principle, private placements are included in the debt securities statistics of the ECB.

debt service

The set of payments, including the principal amount and interest, to be made by the debtor over the life of a debt. Debt service can be measured for past periods (observed) or future periods (scheduled). The most common period selected for debt service is the coming year.

debt service-to-income (DSTI) ratio

A measure of the amount of debt service payments relative to total disposable income. It is frequently used to assess the financial obligations of mortgage-indebted households and their ability to repay debt, and is useful for evaluating their vulnerability to changes in interest rates in countries with a high share of variable rate mortgages.


An event stipulated in an agreement as constituting a default. Generally, such events relate to a failure to complete a transfer of funds or securities in accordance with the terms and rules of the system in question. A failure to pay or deliver on the due date, a breach of agreement and the opening of insolvency proceedings all constitute such events. See also

defaulter pays

A loss-sharing arrangement whereby each participant is required to collateralise any exposures it creates for other participants. As a result, losses resulting from a party’s default are borne by the defaulting party. Antonym:

deferred net settlement system

A system which settles on a net basis at the end of a predefined settlement cycle (typically at the end of – but sometimes during – the business day). See also

deficit ratio

The subject of one of the fiscal criteria used to define the existence of an excessive deficit, as laid down in Article 126(2) TFEU. It is defined as the ratio of the planned or actual government deficit to gross domestic product at current market prices. The government deficit is defined in Protocol No 12 (on the excessive deficit procedure) as net borrowing of the general government.

deficit-debt adjustment

The difference between the general government budget balance (government deficit or surplus) and the change in general government debt. Such adjustments may stem from, among other things, changes in the amount of financial assets held by the government, revaluations or statistical adjustments. See also


A decline in the general price level, e.g. in the consumer price index. See also

degree of openness

A measure of the extent to which an economy depends on trade with other countries or regions, e.g. the ratio of the sum of total imports and exports to GDP.

delayed debit card (charge card)

A card enabling its holders to make purchases and/or withdraw cash and have these transactions charged to an account held with the card issuer, up to an authorised limit. The balance of this account is then settled in full at the end of a predefined period. See also


The transfer of financial instruments or commodities by means of book entry or physical exchange.

delivery versus delivery (DvD)

A securities settlement mechanism which links two securities transfers in such a way as to ensure that the delivery of one security occurs if – and only if – the other security in the other transfer is delivered.

delivery versus payment (DvP)

A securities settlement mechanism which links a securities transfer and a funds transfer in such a way as to ensure that delivery occurs if – and only if – the corresponding payment occurs.

Delors Committee

A committee mandated by the European Council in June 1988 to study and propose concrete stages leading to economic and monetary union. The committee, which takes its name from that of its chairman, Jacques Delors (then President of the European Commission) had the following members: the governors of the central banks of the Member States of the then European Community (EC), Alexandre Lamfalussy (then General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS)), Niels Thygesen (Professor of economics, Denmark) and Miguel Boyer (then President of Banco Exterior de España). The conclusions reached by the committee, published in the so-called Delors Report, were that economic and monetary union should be achieved in three stages.


The elimination of physical certificates or documents of title indicating ownership of financial assets, such that the financial assets exist only as accounting records.

deposit facility

A standing facility of the Eurosystem which counterparties may use to make overnight deposits at a national central bank. Such deposits are remunerated at a pre-specified interest rate. See also

Deposit Guarantee Schemes (DGS) Directive

Directive 2014/49/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on deposit guarantee schemes introducing a harmonisation and simplification of rules and criteria applicable to deposit guarantees.

deposit rate

The interest rate paid on the surplus liquidity that credit institutions may deposit overnight in an account with a national central bank that is part of the Eurosystem.


An agent with the primary role of recording (direct or indirect) holdings of securities. A depository may also act as a registrar (cf. custodian).

deposits redeemable at notice

Savings deposits for which the holder must respect a fixed period of notice before withdrawing the funds. In some cases there is the possibility of withdrawing on demand a certain fixed amount in a specified period or of early withdrawal subject to the payment of a penalty. Deposits redeemable at a period of notice of up to three months are included in M2 (and hence in M3), while those with a longer period of notice are part of the (non-monetary) longer-term financial liabilities of the MFI sector.

deposits with an agreed maturity

Mainly time deposits with a given maturity that, depending on national practices, may be subject to the payment of a penalty in the event of early withdrawal. Some non-marketable debt instruments, such as non-transferable (retail) certificates of deposit, are also included. Deposits with an agreed maturity of up to two years are included in M2 (and hence in M3), while those with an agreed maturity of over two years are included in the (non-monetary) longer-term financial liabilities of the MFI sector.


A financial contract whose value depends on the value of one or more underlying reference assets, rates or indices, on a measure of economic value or on factual events.

designated system

A system governed by the law of an EEA Member State and designated to the European Commission by the competent national authorities in accordance with Directive 98/26/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 1998 on settlement finality in payment and securities settlement systems.


deposit facility rate


Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission


deposit guarantee scheme

DGS Directive


digital signature


direct clearing member

A member of a clearing house that clears on its own behalf and on behalf of its customers. See also

direct debit

A payment instrument for the debiting of a payer’s payment account whereby a payment transaction is initiated by the payee on the basis of authorisation given by the payer.

direct holding system

An arrangement for registering ownership of securities (or similar interests) whereby each and every final investor in the security is registered with a single entity (e.g. the issuer itself, a central securities depository (CSD) or a registry). In some countries, the use of direct holding systems is required by law. Antonym:

direct investment (in a b.o.p. context)

Cross-border investment associated with a resident in one economy having control or a significant degree of influence on the management of an enterprise that is resident in another economy.

direct link

An account opened by a central securities depository (CSD), referred to as the “investor CSD”, in the books of another CSD, referred to as the “issuer CSD”, in order to facilitate the transfer of securities from participants in the issuer CSD to participants in the investor CSD. See also

direct participant

A participant in a transfer system that can perform all activities allowed in the system without using an intermediary (including, in particular, the direct inputting of orders in the system and the performance of settlement operations). See also

direct taxes

Current taxes on income, wealth, etc. covering all compulsory, unrequited payments, in cash or in kind, levied periodically by general government and by the rest of the world on the income and wealth of institutional units, and some periodic taxes which are assessed on neither income nor wealth (ESA 2010 4.77-4.82). These taxes are not consolidated in government finance statistics, so any taxes paid by one part of government to another are included as both revenue and expenditure. For example, some non-profit institutions, or extra-budgetary funds, classified in the government sector may be liable for tax on their interest income.


The position of a member of the management body of a company.


The difference between the par value of a security and its price when such price is lower than par.

discount security (zero coupon instrument)

An asset which does not pay coupon interest, and the return on which is achieved by capital appreciation because the asset is issued or bought at a discount.

discretionary fiscal policy

Changes in the budget balance caused by government policy measures rather than by the automatic reaction of government revenue and expenditure to economic fluctuations. See also


distributed ledger technology

domestic settlement

Settlement which takes place in the country (or currency area) in which both parties to the transaction are located. Antonym:

double-entry bookkeeping

An accounting principle whereby for each credit/debit entry made in one account, there is a corresponding entry in another account.


debt service ratio


debt service-to-income


deferred tax asset



Dutch auction