ECB and BoE announce market stability measures

European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters

European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters

European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BoE) have announced measures to enhance financial stability in relation to centrally cleared markets in the EU.

The ECB and the BoE have agreed enhanced arrangements for information exchange and cooperation regarding UK Central Counterparties (CCPs) with significant euro-denominated business.

A CCP places itself between the original counterparties to a transaction, effectively guaranteeing that if one counterparty fails, the CCP will continue to perform on the transaction to the other party. A CCP protects itself by taking collateral (‘margin’) from each party and by collecting a ‘default fund’ from its members to meet losses that exceed the margin it holds.

The ECB and the BoE are also extending the scope of their standing swap line in order, should it be necessary and without pre-committing to the provision of liquidity, to facilitate the provision of multi-currency liquidity support by both central banks to CCPs established in the UK and euro area respectively. CCP liquidity risk management remains first and foremost the responsibility of the CCPs themselves.

This announcement follows the judgement on 4 March 2015 by the General Court of the EU. In light of these agreements the ECB and UK government have agreed to a cessation of all legal actions covering the three legal cases raised by the UK government.