Eurosystem credit operations are carried out based on adequate collateral, pursuant to Article 18 of the ESCB/ECB Statute.
Eurosystem credit operations comprise:
- monetary policy operations;
- intraday credit on TARGET2;
- intraday credit on TARGET2-Securities (auto-collateralization).
Adequate collateral means marketable assets (securities) and non-marketable assets (bank loans) that satisfy the Eurosystem's eligibility criteria (eligible assets).
Banca d'Italia acquires collateral by means of a pledge. Collateral for monetary policy operations and for intraday credit in TARGET2 is managed using the collateralization technique known as pooling, by which collateral is pledged by each counterparty into a pool account opened with Banca d'Italia; the overall value of the collateral is bound in direct proportion to outstanding credit operations, and the counterparty can withdraw some collateral from the pool provided that the remainder is sufficient to guarantee outstanding credit operations.
Counterparties that want to open a pool account should sign the Condizioni generali relative alle garanzie per operazioni di finanziamento (Terms and conditions on collateral for credit operations) with the competent local Banca d'Italia branch. These Terms and conditions supplements the signing of specific contracts for access to credit operations (operazioni di mercato aperto, operazioni di finanziamento su iniziativa delle controparti e operazioni di anticipazione infragionaliera su pegno e operazioni di auto-collateral (available in sections "Contratti di politica monetaria" e "Guida per gli aderenti e contratti")
There are various ways to mobilize eligible, marketable assets, according to whether their use is domestic (an Italian bank uses securities issued at Monte Titoli SpA, the Italian central securities depository) or cross-border (an Italian bank uses securities issued at central securities depositories other than the Italian one).
Specifically, the cross-border use of eligible, marketable assets can be through two main channels:
- the Correspondent Central Banking Model (CCBM), based on correspondent relationships between central banks;
- connections between central securities depositories (links).
The operational procedures for the opening, mobilization through the various channels and functioning of pool accounts are found in the document entitled 'Management system for collateral pooling and securities deposits - (CAT Guideline)'.
Auto-collateral in TARGET2-Securities
Auto-collateralization is a service provided by central banks to participants in the TARGET2-Securities settlement platform to improve the efficiency and smoothness of the process for settling financial instruments. By means of auto-collateralization and under a specific contract with Banca d'Italia, an intermediary temporarily without the liquidity to purchase a security can obtain intraday credit from the central bank by providing the same security being purchased or other securities already held as collateral, so that the transaction can be settled. The collateral that can be used as auto-collateral is automatically chosen and assessed by the T2S platform, with the application of the same criteria and checks established by the Eurosystem for other forms of financing.
Collateral established for other purposes
In addition to Eurosystem credit operations, there are other transactions that must be backed by eligible collateral. These include:
- issuing bank drafts: as collateral for this asset, banks are required to establish a guarantee in the form of securities with Banca d'Italia;
- interlinking service for the SDD Core and SDD B2B: to secure any unpaid transactions occurring while performing this service, some securities collateral must be set up with Banca d'Italia.
There are specific accounts for the custody and administration of securities collateral; how to open and replenish them is also governed by the CAT Guideline.
Markets and Payment Systems Directorate General
Payment Systems Directorate
Payment and Correspondent Services Division
Via Pastrengo, 14 - Rome
Tel: +39 06 4792 3868