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Main drivers of the ECB financial accounts and ECB financial strength over the first 11 years

Author

Listed:
  • Vergote, Olivier
  • Studener, Werner
  • Efthymiadis, Ioannis
  • Merriman, Niall

Abstract

This paper analyses the main drivers of the ECB’s balance sheet and profit and loss account over the first 11 years of the ECB’s existence. Furthermore, the paper assesses the financial strength of the ECB. As monetary policy operations are normally conducted by national central banks under the impulse and instructions from the ECB, the Eurosystem balance sheet is the primary reference for the analysis of Eurosystem monetary policy operations. Three main drivers of the balance sheet and profit and loss account are identified. Firstly, financial market developments and portfolio management decisions imply changes in the value of the foreign reserve and own funds portfolios, which represent a substantial part of the balance sheet (with the share of own funds becoming increasingly larger over the period under review). At the same time, the profit and loss account depends to an important degree on interest income and expenses, realised gains and losses, and write-downs on these portfolios. Secondly, strong banknote demand has gradually increased the size of the balance sheet since the euro changeover in 2002. Banknotes in circulation also provide a strong base for seigniorage income, which is an important item of the profit and loss account. Thirdly, the liquidity-providing operations in foreign currency, which the Eurosystem has undertaken since 2007 in response to the fi nancial crisis, increased significantly the size of the ECB’s (and the Eurosystem’s) balance sheet. In terms of income and expenses, these operations were rather immaterial at the level of the ECB, although the income generated was substantial at the Eurosystem level. The ECB has remained financially strong over the 11-year period. Factors that support the financial position are strong legislative provisions on e.g. independence and income, the use of financial buffers, seigniorage as a reliable income source and an effective loss-coverage mechanism. JEL Classification: D21, D92, E22, E52

Suggested Citation

  • Vergote, Olivier & Studener, Werner & Efthymiadis, Ioannis & Merriman, Niall, 2010. "Main drivers of the ECB financial accounts and ECB financial strength over the first 11 years," Occasional Paper Series 111, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20100111
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    Cited by:

    1. Sturm, Michael & Sauter, Nicolas, 2010. "The impact of the global financial turmoil and recession on Mediterranean countries’ economies," Occasional Paper Series 118, European Central Bank.
    2. Silke Tober, 2015. "Monetary Financing in the Euro Area: A Free Lunch?," IMK Working Paper 152-2015, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    3. Stolz, Stéphanie Marie & Wedow, Michael, 2010. "Extraordinary measures in extraordinary times – Public measures in support of the financial sector in the EU and the United States," Occasional Paper Series 117, European Central Bank.
    4. Hess, Patrick, 2010. "Securities clearing and settlement in China: markets, infrastructures and policy-making," Occasional Paper Series 116, European Central Bank.
    5. Dalla Pellegrina, L. & Masciandaro, D. & Pansini, R.V., 2013. "The central banker as prudential supervisor: Does independence matter?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 415-427.
    6. An IRC expert group of the ESCB, 2010. "Financial stability challenges in EU candidate countries - Financial systems in the aftermath of the global crisis," Occasional Paper Series 115, European Central Bank.
    7. Aleksander Berentsen & Alessandro Marchesiani & Christopher Waller, 2014. "Floor Systems for Implementing Monetary Policy: Some Unpleasant Fiscal Arithmetic," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(3), pages 523-542, July.
    8. repec:cbi:qtbart:y:2017:m:07:p:79-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Task Force of the Monetary Policy Committee of the ESCB, 2010. "Energy markets and the euro area macroeconomy," Occasional Paper Series 113, European Central Bank.
    10. repec:cbi:qtbart:y:2017:m:07:p:48-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Anton, Roman, 2015. "Monetary Development and Transmission in the Eurosystem," MPRA Paper 67323, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Oct 2015.
    12. di Mauro, Filippo & Forster, Katrin & Lima, Ana, 2010. "The global downturn and its impact on euro area exports and competitiveness," Occasional Paper Series 119, European Central Bank.
    13. Schwarz Claudia & Karakitsos Polychronis & Merriman Niall & Studener Werner, 2015. "Why Accounting Matters: A Central Bank Perspective," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-42, March.
    14. Gardó, Sándor & Martin, Reiner, 2010. "The impact of the global economic and financial crisis on central, eastern and south-eastern Europe: A stock-taking exercise," Occasional Paper Series 114, European Central Bank.
    15. repec:cbi:qtbart:y:2017:m:07:p:63-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Jakob Korbinian Eberl, 2016. "The Collateral Framework of the Eurosystem and Its Fiscal Implications," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 69, November.
    17. Bodea, Cristina & Huemer, Stefan, 2010. "Dancing together at arm’s length? – The interaction of central banks with governments in the G7," Occasional Paper Series 120, European Central Bank.
    18. Michal Jurek & Pawel Marszalek, 2015. "Policy alternatives for the relationship between ECB monetary and financial policies and new member states," Working papers wpaper112, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    19. Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Kamath, Kishore & Lamo, Ana & Pérez, Javier J. & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2010. "Public wages in the euro area - towards securing stability and competitiveness," Occasional Paper Series 112, European Central Bank.
    20. repec:cii:cepiei:2010-4ta is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Beirne, John & Dalitz, Lars & Ejsing, Jacob & Grothe, Magdalena & Manganelli, Simone & Monar, Fernando & Sahel, Benjamin & Sušec, Matjaž & Tapking, Jens & Vong, Tana, 2011. "The impact of the Eurosystem's covered bond purchase programme on the primary and secondary markets," Occasional Paper Series 122, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank balance sheet; central banking; financial accounts; financial strength;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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