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All glossary entries


mergers and acquisitions


See mobile payment (m-payment)


A “narrow” monetary aggregate that comprises currency in circulation and overnight deposits.


An "intermediate" monetary aggregate that comprises M1 plus deposits with an agreed maturity of up to two years and deposits redeemable at notice of up to three months.


A “broad” monetary aggregate that comprises M2 plus repurchase agreements, money market fund shares and units as well as debt securities with a maturity of up to two years.

Maastricht criteria

See convergence criteria

macroeconomic imbalance procedure (MIP)

A procedure aimed at broadening the surveillance of economic policies of the EU Member States to include a detailed and formal framework to prevent and correct excessive imbalances and to help the EU Member States affected to establish corrective action plans before divergences become entrenched. The MIP is based on Article 121(6) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The first step of this surveillance procedure of the EU is the Alert Mechanism Report. The MIP has a preventive and a corrective arm. The latter is made operational by the excessive imbalance procedure. See also Alert Mechanism Report, excessive imbalance procedure

main refinancing operation

A regular open market operation executed by the Eurosystem (in the form of a reverse transaction) for the purpose of providing the banking system with the amount of liquidity that the former deems to be appropriate. Main refinancing operations are conducted through weekly standard tenders (in which banks can bid for liquidity) and normally have a maturity of one week. See also open market operation, reverse transaction

maintenance period

The period over which compliance with reserve requirements is calculated. The ECB publishes a calendar of the reserve maintenance periods at least three months before the start of each year. The maintenance period begins on the settlement day of the first main refinancing operation following the meeting of the Governing Council at which the monthly assessment of the monetary policy stance is pre-scheduled. Under special circumstances, the published calendar may be amended, depending, among other things, on changes in the schedule of Governing Council meetings. See also minimum reserves

management body

An institution’s body or bodies which are empowered to set its strategy, objectives and overall direction, and which include the persons who effectively direct the business of the institution (management function) and/or oversee and monitor management decision-making (supervisory function).

mandate for direct debits

The authorisation given by a payer to a payee (and/or the institution with which the payer’s account is held) consenting to the debiting of the payer’s account. See also direct debit


Highly liquid collateral required in order to cover adverse market price movements. The initial margin is calculated on the basis of a formula set by the counterparties to a trade or by a central counterparty (CCP). A market participant is called upon to provide additional collateral if the collateral that has been deposited is no longer sufficient (with this “margin call” indicating a shortfall in the margin coverage).

margin call

A procedure related to the application of variation margins, implying that if the value, as regularly measured, of the underlying assets falls below a certain level, the central bank requires counterparties to supply additional assets (or cash). Similarly, if the value of the underlying assets, following their revaluation, were to exceed the amount owed by the counterparties plus the variation margin, the counterparty may ask the central bank to return the excess assets (or cash) to the counterparty. See also repurchase agreement, variation margin

marginal interest rate

The interest rate at which the total tender allotment is exhausted.

marginal lending facility

A standing facility of the Eurosystem which counterparties may use to receive overnight credit from a national central bank at a pre-specified interest rate against eligible assets. See also standing facility

marginal lending rate

The interest rate on the Eurosystem's marginal lending facility which banks may use for overnight credit from a national central bank that is part of the Eurosystem.

marginal swap point quotation

The swap point quotation at which the total tender allotment is exhausted. See also swap point

market infrastructure

Systems used for the trading, clearing and settlement of payments, securities or derivatives.

market price

The price that is quoted for a gold, foreign exchange or securities instrument usually excluding accrued or rebate interest either on an organised market e.g. a stock exchange, or a non-organised market, e.g. an over-the-counter market.

market risk (price risk)

The risk of losses (in both on and off-balance sheet positions) arising from movements in market prices. See also replacement cost risk


The practice of revaluing securities and financial instruments using current market prices. See also haircut, variation margin


The process used for comparing the trade or settlement details provided by parties in order to ensure that they agree on the terms of the transaction.

maturity at issue (original maturity)

The period of life of a financial instrument that is fixed at the time it is issued. A redemption of that financial instrument is not possible before that period has expired (in the case of debt securities, for instance) or is possible earlier only if some form of penalty is paid (in the case of some types of deposit). Financial instruments are classified according to the period of notice only when there is no agreed maturity.

maturity bucket

A class of debt instruments within a liquidity category of tier one assets or within a liquidity category of tier two assets, the residual maturity of which is within a certain range of values, e.g. the three to five-year maturity bucket.

maturity date

The date on which a monetary policy operation expires. In the case of a repurchase agreement or swap, the maturity date corresponds to the repurchase date.

maximum bid limit

The limit on the largest acceptable bid from an individual counterparty in a tender operation. The Eurosystem may impose maximum bid limits in order to avoid disproportionately large bids from individual counterparties. See also tender procedure

maximum bid rate

The upper limit to the interest rate at which counterparties may submit bids in variable rate tenders. Bids at a rate above the maximum bid rate announced by the ECB are discarded. See also tender procedure


maximum distributable amount

means of payment

Assets or claims on assets that are accepted by a payee as discharging a payment obligation on the part of a payer vis-à-vis the payee.

Mediation Panel

A governance structure of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, established by the ECB according to Article 25 of the SSM Regulation, with a view to ensuring separation between monetary policy and supervisory tasks and to resolving differences of views expressed by the competent authorities of participating Member States concerned in cases where the Governing Council objects to a draft decision by the Supervisory Board. The panel includes one member per participating Member State, chosen from among the members of the Governing Council and the Supervisory Board, and decides by simple majority, with each member having one vote. See also Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM)


A participant in a system which also owns a stake in that system.

Member State

A country that is a member of the European Union.

Member State with a derogation

An EU Member State that is, as set out in Article 140 TFEU, preparing to adopt the euro, but has not yet done so. There are currently six Member States (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden) with this status: rights and obligations relating to the introduction of the euro as a single currency do not apply to them. The case of Denmark is different in that this Member State has been granted an exemption from participating in the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union.

merchant service charge (MSC)

A fee paid by the acceptor/merchant to the acquirer.


Any kind of statistical information that defines or describes other data (e.g. attributes, structures, code lists, etc.).


See monetary financial institution (MFI)

MFI credit to euro area residents

MFI loans granted to non-MFI euro area residents (including the general government and the private sector) and MFI holdings of securities (shares, other equity and debt securities) issued by non-MFI euro area residents.

MFI interest rates

The interest rates that are applied by resident credit institutions and other MFIs, excluding central banks and money market funds, to euro-denominated deposits and loans vis-à-vis households and non-financial corporations resident in the euro area.

MFI longer-term financial liabilities

Liabilities that are not included in M3 and that comprise deposits with an agreed maturity of over two years, deposits redeemable at a period of notice of over three months, debt securities issued by euro area MFIs with an original maturity of more than two years and the capital and reserves of the euro area MFI sector.

MFI net external assets

The external assets of the euro area MFI sector (e.g. MFI holdings of cash in non-euro area currencies, MFI holdings of securities issued by non-euro area residents, and MFI loans granted to non-euro area residents, as well as gold and SDRs held by the Eurosystem) minus the external liabilities of the euro area MFI sector (e.g. non-euro area residents’ holdings of deposits, repurchase agreements, money market fund shares/units and debt securities issued by MFIs with a maturity of up to and including two years).

mid-market price

The mid-point between the bid price and the offer price for a security based on quotations for transactions of normal market size by recognised market-makers or recognised trading exchanges. The mid-market price is used for the year-end revaluation procedure.

mid-market rate

The ECB daily concertation rate at 2.15 p.m., which is used for the year-end revaluation procedure.


Markets in Financial Instruments Directive


Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation

minimum allotment amount

The lower limit of the amount to be allotted to individual counterparties in a tender operation. The Eurosystem may decide to allot a minimum amount to each counterparty in its tender operations. See also tender procedure

minimum allotment ratio

The lower limit, expressed in percentage terms, of the ratio of bids at the marginal interest rate to be allotted in a tender operation. The Eurosystem may decide to apply a minimum allotment ratio in its tender operations. See also tender procedure

minimum bid rate

The lower limit to the interest rates at which counterparties may submit bids in variable rate tenders. See also tender procedure

minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL)

The requirement for all EU credit institutions, with the aim of enabling credit institutions to absorb losses in case of failure. The MREL was issued by the European Commission in the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD). It has the same goal as the total loss-absorbing capacity (TLAC) requirement. However, the specific capital requirements prescribed by the MREL are calculated differently, following criteria set by the EBA.

minimum reserves

The minimum amount of reserves a credit institution is required to hold with a central bank. In the minimum reserve framework of the Eurosystem, the reserve requirement of a credit institution is calculated by multiplying the reserve ratio for each category of items in the reserve base by the amount of those items on the institution's balance sheet. In addition, institutions are allowed to deduct a lump-sum allowance from their reserve requirement. See also reserve base, reserve ratio

minimum standards of the Lamfalussy report (Lamfalussy standards)

The six minimum standards for the design and operation of cross-border and multi-currency netting schemes or systems. For details, see the “Report of the Committee on Interbank Netting Schemes of the Central Banks of the Group of Ten Countries” (the “Lamfalussy report”), BIS, November 1990. See also Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems


See macroeconomic imbalance procedure (MIP)


See money market fund (MMF)


money market statistics


money market statistical reporting

mobile device

A handheld machine: (i) connected to other devices or systems via radio technologies or via telecommunication networks based on wireless (“over-the-air”) technology (e.g. GSM/GPRS/UMTS/LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, RFID, Bluetooth); (ii) designed with a multimedia interface for user interaction (e.g. display, keyboard, sound-speaker); (iii) equipped with a storage facility for “user identification data” (for instance a SIM card, other UICC, or a micro-SD card); and (iv) equipped with a mobile operating system.

mobile payment (m-payment)

A payment where a mobile device is used at least for the initiation of the payment order and potentially also for the transfer of funds.

monetary aggregate

Currency in circulation plus certain liabilities of monetary financial institutions (MFIs) that are relatively liquid, such as overnight deposits, and are held by euro area residents (excluding MFIs and the central government sector). See also M1, M2, M3

monetary and financial analysis

One part of the integrated analytical framework that forms the basis for the Governing Council’s monetary policy deliberations. It examines monetary and financial indicators, focusing on the operation of the monetary policy transmission mechanism, in particular via the credit, bank lending, risk-taking and asset pricing channels. This facilitates the identification of possible changes or impairments in transmission. The monetary and financial analysis also provides for a systematic evaluation of the longer-term build-up of financial vulnerabilities and imbalances and their possible implications for the tail risks to output and inflation. Moreover, it assesses the extent to which macroprudential measures mitigate possible financial stability risks that are relevant from a monetary policy perspective.

monetary base

See base money (monetary base)

monetary financial institution (MFI)

Financial institutions which together form the money-issuing sector of the euro area. These include the Eurosystem, resident credit institutions (as defined in EU law) and all other resident financial institutions whose business is to receive deposits and/or close substitutes for deposits from entities other than MFIs and, for their own account (at least in economic terms), to grant credit and/or invest in securities. The latter group consists predominantly of money market funds.

monetary income

Income accruing to the euro area NCBs in the performance of the Eurosystem’s monetary policy function, derived from assets earmarked in accordance with guidelines established by the Governing Council and held against banknotes in circulation and deposit liabilities to credit institutions. See also earmarking system

monetary policy

Action undertaken by a central bank using the instruments at its disposal in order to achieve its objectives (e.g. maintaining price stability).

monetary policy statement

A statement issued after each monetary policy meeting of the Governing Council explaining its monetary policy decisions through an integrated narrative in line with the ECB’s analytical framework and drawing on economic and monetary and financial analysis.

monetary policy strategy

The ECB’s strategy for achieving the primary objective of maintaining price stability in the euro area. It includes monetary policy instruments, indicators and intermediate targets, and also sets out how to take into account other considerations without prejudice to price stability. It serves two main purposes: it provides a coherent analytical framework mapping actual or expected developments into policy decisions and it serves as a vehicle for communicating with the public.

monetary policy transmission mechanism

The process through which monetary policy decisions, e.g. the interest rate decisions taken by the Governing Council in the case of the euro area, affect the economy in general and the price level in particular.

monetary presentation of the b.o.p.

A presentation that distinguishes the external transactions of the MFI sector from those of the non-MFI sector. The analysis of the external counterpart of M3 contributes, together with that of the domestic counterparts, to the assessment of M3 developments.

monetary targeting

A monetary policy strategy aimed at maintaining price stability by focusing on the deviations of money growth from a pre-announced target.


An asset accepted by general consent as a medium of exchange. It may take, for example, the form of coins or banknotes or units stored on a prepaid electronic chip-card. Short-term deposits with credit institutions also serve the purposes of money. In economic theory, money performs three different functions: (1) a unit of account; (2) a means of payment; and (3) a store of value. A central bank bears the responsibility for the optimum performance of these functions and does so by ensuring that price stability is maintained.

money demand

A key economic relationship that represents the demand for money balances by non-monetary financial institutions (non-MFIs). The demand for money is often expressed as a function of prices and economic activity, which serves as a proxy for the level of transactions in the economy, and certain interest rate variables, which measure the opportunity costs of holding money.

money market

The market in which short-term funds are raised, invested and traded, using instruments which generally have an original maturity of up to one year.

money market fund (MMF)

A collective investment undertaking that primarily invests in money market instruments and/or other transferable debt instruments with a residual maturity of up to one year, and/or that pursues a rate of return that approaches the interest rates on money market instruments.

money order

An instrument used to transfer money remotely, often used where the payer and/or the payee do not have a current account with a financial institution.

money remitter

A payment service provider that accepts funds from a payer for the purpose of making them available to a payee, without necessarily maintaining an account relationship with the payer or payee.


Monetary Policy Committee


See minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL)


See merchant service charge (MSC)

multilateral net settlement system

A settlement system in which each settling participant settles its own multilateral net settlement position (typically by means of a single payment or receipt). See also multilateral netting, net settlement system

multilateral netting

An arrangement among three or more parties for the netting of obligations and the settling of multilateral net settlement positions. See also bilateral netting, netting

multiple rate auction (American auction)

An auction at which the allotment interest rate (or price/swap point) equals the interest rate offered in each individual bid.