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Eurosystem's asset purchase programmes

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), as part of its mandate to maintain price stability, has launched a number of asset purchase programmes in recent years.

In an environment of low key ECB interest rates, asset purchases provide monetary stimulus to the economy.

These purchases accentuate the expansionary nature of monetary and financial conditions, making recourse to financing cheaper for governments, firms and households. Hence they tend to support investment and consumption and preserve ample liquidity conditions.

The asset purchase programme (APP) comprises four programmes, through which private and public debt securities are purchased: 

  • asset-backed securities purchase programme (ABSPP), announced on 2 October 2014;
  • covered bond purchase programme (CBPP3), announced on 2 October 2014;
  • public sector purchase programme (PSPP), announced on 22 January 2015;
  • corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP), announced on 10 March 2016.

Net asset purchases under the APP ended in July 2022. The principal payments from maturing securities are reinvested in full.

On 18 March 2020, the Governing Council decided to establish a new public and private sector asset purchase programme, the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), to counter the risks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic (for more information, see related pages). Net asset purchases under the PEPP ended in April 2022. The principal payments from maturing securities are reinvested in full.

The Banco de Portugal has been involved in the implementation of the PSPP, the PEPP and the CBPP3 since their inception, carrying out purchases in the secondary market for the first two programmes and in the primary and secondary markets for the CBPP3.

The implementation of the CSPP is carried out by a limited number of national central banks. Nationale Bank van België/Banque nationale de Belgique was responsible for implementing the CSPP in nine jurisdictions, including the Portuguese corporate bond market.

The implementation of the ABSPP is also carried out by a limited number of central banks. In this case, Banque de France was responsible for purchasing the securities in five jurisdictions, including Portuguese asset-backed securities. 

 

Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI)

In July 2022, the Governing Council of the ECB found it necessary to create an instrument that ensures that the monetary policy stance is transmitted smoothly across all euro area countries. The singleness of the Governing Council’s monetary policy is a precondition for the ECB to be able to deliver on its price stability mandate. Further details on the TPI can be found on the ECB’s website.

 

Lending of holdings purchased by the Eurosystem under the public sector purchase programme (PSPP) and the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP)

Securities purchased by the Eurosystem under the PSPP and PEPP have been made available for decentralised securities lending by a number of central banks.

The aim of securities lending is to support bond and repo market liquidity.

The Eurosystem is primarily targeting market participants with market-making obligations.

Further details on the securities lending arrangements of both the ECB and the Eurosystem central banks can be found on the ECB’s website.

 

The Banco de Portugal’s securities lending arrangements 

Securities purchased by the Banco de Portugal under the PSPP and the PEPP are available for securities lending.

The implementation of this activity is currently delegated to Euroclear Bank SA/NV through GC Access, a non-cash collateral programme, and to Clearstream Banking S.A. (CBL), through ASLplus.  

Holdings purchased by the Banco de Portugal under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP) are available for lending under the same conditions. 

The Banco de Portugal also participates in the Euroclear Bank SA/NV and Clearstream Banking S.A. (CBL) programmes for mitigating settlement fails. The terms and conditions of these programmes are those defined by Euroclear Bank SA/NV and Clearstream Banking S.A. (CBL).

Market participants may contact Banco de Portugal for further information at: bdp_pspp_securities_lending@bportugal.pt