At the end of 2017 the ECB's Governing Council approved the project for setting up the Eurosystem Collateral Management System (ECMS): this is a single technical platform for national central banks (NCBs) enabling the harmonized management of collateral used in Eurosystem credit operations (monetary policy operations and intraday credit in TARGET2).
The ECMS will complete the Eurosystem's market infrastructure setup to facilitate the efficient management of liquidity and collateral, contributing to the integration of markets, financial stability and, ultimately, the Capital Markets Union.
The platform will replace the existing IT systems of NCBs in order to provide a harmonized service to counterparties. The ECMS will be set up and managed by Deutsche Bundesbank, Banque de France, Banca d'Italia and Banco de España (4CBs) and the go-live is scheduled for November 2023.
Individual NCBs will remain responsible for contractual and operational relationships with counterparties, central securities depositories (CSDs) and triparty agents.
The ECMS platform will provide advanced and harmonized functions, specifically:
- the use of the ISO 20022 standard for all communication;
- integration with the other Eurosystem infrastructures, especially TARGET2 and TARGET2-Securities;
- the settlement of monetary policy operations;
- the movement, assessment and custody of collateral on a domestic and cross-border basis;
- interactions with counterparties, CSDs and triparty agents.
The Eurosystem has promoted initiatives for harmonizing the market practices of banks, CSDs and triparty agents in areas of activity that are also important for the ECMS, such as the adoption of the ISO 20022 standard for the management of corporate actions and triparty services; the Advisory Group on Market Infrastructures for Securities and Collateral (AMI-SeCo) handled the work involved.
When complete, the platform will benefit banks by making it possible to simplify and merge the operational processes and IT applications that will interact with the ECMS and to access the new system online (U2A).