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European Central Bank (ECB)

  • Total amount: Securities held temporarily by the Eurosystem for monetary policy objectives:
    • Two Covered Bond Purchasing Programmes (to stimulate the market)(CBPP1 and 2): up to € 100 billion
    • Securities market programme (addressing poorly functioning securities markets through the purchase and sale of public and private tradable debt paper) (SMP): amount dependent on market conditions and Eurosystem monetary policy requirements. As of September 6th 2012, the SMP was discontinued and the assets held in its accounts were transferred assimilated by the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) account.
    • Outright Monetary Transactions(OMT; unlimited purchases in sovereign-bond seceundary markets. OMT replaces the Securities Market Programme(SMP)
    • 2-Year Asset-backed securities purchase programme (ABSPP)
    • Third Covered bond purchased programme (CBPP3)
    • Public sector purchase programme (PSPP)1
  • Total amount: other non-conventional monetary policy measures:
    • Long Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO): These operations are aimed at providing longer-term liquidity to the banking system in the euro-area against adequate collateral (two 3-year LTROs December 2011 and February/March 2012: total € 1,019 billion)

    • Targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO) aims to support bank lending to the non-financial private sector (households and non-financial corporations, in Member States whose currency is the euro – excluding lending for house purchase) with eight borrowing allowances conducted in the period September 2014 -2016. In all eight TLTROs the lending is based on adequate collateral. Financial amount depends on the managing of the liquidity situation in the market, steering of the interest rates and intend to send signals to the market about the monetary direction to be taken (initial borrowing allowance in respect of all the TLTROs conducted in September 2014 to medio 2016 amounts to € 432 billion). 
    • ECB announced on 10 March 2016 new series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO-II). The four TLTRO-III transactions are planned for: June, September and December 2016 and March 2017. These transactions have a maturity of four years. The first two transactions have already been completed (€ 445 billion).

  • Intended for: Eurosystem central banks and the ECB itself
  • Legal basis: EC Treaty (art. 105, para. 2) for CBPP 1; TFEU (art. 127, para. 2) for CBPP 2, SMP, OMT, PSPP, LTRO, TLTRO and Protocol on the articles of association of the ESCB and ECB under the EC Treaty and TFEU
  • Type of instrument:Monetary instruments for open market operations in the Eurosystem to steer interest rates and the liquidity of the market
  • Start of purchases: 
    • CBPP 1: 4 September 2009 (to 30 June 2010)
    • CBPP 2: 16 November 2011 (to 31 October 2012)
    • SMP: 21 May 2010, discontinued as of 6 September 2012
    • OMT: 6 September 2012
    • ABSPP: 21 November 2014 (will last for at least two years)
    • CBPP3: 20 October 2014 (will last for at least two years)
    • PSPP: 9 March 2015 (intended to be carried out until the end of September 2016) 
    • CSPP: 8 June 2016 (will run at least until the end of March 2017)

  • Other non-conventional monetary policy measures:
  • LTRO: (two) 3-years LTRO’s (December 2011 and Februari/March 2012)
  • TLTRO: eight transactions (September 2014 to medio 2016)
  • TLTRO-II (four) 4-years TLTRO’s (June 2016 to March 2017)


  • Amount disbursed at 1 November 2016:
    • CBPP 1: € 13,8 billion
    • CBPP 2: € 7,0 billion
    • SMP: € 102,0 billion
    • ABSPP: € 21,3 billion
    • CBPP3: € 198,7 billion
    • PSPP: € 1.148,3 billion
    • CSPP: € 40,4 (EAPP: €1,408.7 billion)
    • Total: € 1.531,5 billion
  • The two 3-year LTRO: € 473,3 billion.
  • Countries concerned:
    • CBPP 1 and 2: Greece, Portugal, Ireland
    • OMT: not yet been applied
    • The ECB published 19 February 2015 the Eurosystem's holdings of securities acquired under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP) as at 31 December 2014. The breakdown of the Eurosystem's SMP holdings as at 31 December 2012 of PIIGS indicated at book value is as follows: Portugal € 14,3 bn, Ireland € 9,3 bn, Italy € 73,9 bn, Greece € 18,1 bn and Spain € 28,6 bn.



1.The expanded asset purchase programme (EAPP) adds the purchase programme for public sector securities to the existing private sector asset purchase programmes to address the risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation. It consists of the third covered bond purchase programme (CBPP3), asset-backed securities purchase programme (ABSPP), public sector purchase programme (PSPP)n and corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP).


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