Monetary Policy

Eligible assets and counterparties

All Eurosystem credit operations have to be based on adequate collateral.  Assets used as collateral in monetary policy operations, and for obtaining intraday credit, must fulfil certain eligibility criteria. 

The Eurosystem accepts a wide range of assets that can be used as collateral. A single framework for eligible assets for the entire euro area, also referred to as the “single list”, came into effect on 1 January 2007.  Only assets that are on the single list may be used as collateral in monetary policy operations or to obtain intraday credit. 

This single framework comprises two distinct asset classes:

  • marketable assets, which fulfil the criteria and are known as “eligible assets”, are listed on the website of the European Central Bank (ECB);
  • non-marketable assets which fulfil the eligibility criteria but which are not listed on the ECB website. 

The ECB reserves the right to exclude assets from the single list as it deems appropriate.  The ECB also ensures that the single list is kept up-to-date, accurate, and consistent.

All eligible assets are also subject to risk control measures to protect the Eurosystem against the risk of financial loss if these assets must be realised owing to default of the counterparty.  Apart from protecting the Eurosystem from possible credit risks, eligibility criteria have also been set to ensure equal treatment of all banks. In addition, uniform eligibility criteria promote operational efficiency.

Apart from being subject to collateral requirements, Eurosystem operations are only undertaken with eligible counterparties that satisfy common requirements applied at euro area level, as well as other specific national conditions. Such counterparties may use eligible assets on a cross-border basis, i.e. they may obtain funds from the national central bank of the Member State in which they are established by making use of assets located in another Member State.