The ECB, DNB and the other national central banks in the euro area – conduct various purchase programmes. Its objective is to support the euro area economy. Below is an overview of the purchase programmes.
Objective of the purchase programmes
In 2014, the European Central Bank (ECB) took new measures to ease monetary policy. Among these are the purchase programmes, which are also referred to as unconventional monetary measures. The ECB decided to ease monetary policy to support the euro area economy and promote price stability. The main purchase programme is the Asset Purchase Programme (APP). The ECB uses this programme to promote the transmission of monetary policy and ease financing conditions.
Four types of purchase programmes
Under the Asset Purchase Programme, the ECB runs four different purchase programmes. These are:
- The Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP), which was launched in 2015 and entails the purchasing of government bonds and bonds issued by various national and European institutions.
- The Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), under which corporate bonds have been purchased since 2016.
- The Asset-Backed Securities Purchase Programme (ABSPP), under which asset-backed securities (ABS) have been purchased since 2014.
- The Covered Bonds Purchase Programme 3 (CBPP3), under which covered bonds issued by banks have been purchased since 2014. This programme is a continuation of earlier covered bond purchase programmes implemented from 2009 onwards.
Immediately after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the ECB launched the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) in March 2020. The ECB uses this programme to promote the transmission of monetary policy and ease financing conditions. DNB, the ECB and the other national central banks in the euro area purchase different types of securities, including government bonds and corporate bonds. The ECB decided to freeze the PEPP in December 2021. This means that the central bank only makes purchases to maintain the existing volume. A further expansion of PEPP is no longer necessary as the economic recovery is progressing and inflation is moving towards the 2% target in the medium term. However, the ECB stresses that the programme can be restarted if circumstances so require.
The ECB and the national central banks in the euro area implement the purchase programmes. For example, we have been purchasing Dutch ABS, covered bonds and bonds issued by the Dutch State and national agencies. We purchase them in the market from our counterparties, most of which are internationally active banks that trade bonds. We also effect part of our purchases through auctions. The bonds we buy under the PSPP are made available for securities lending transactions. Read more about securities lending transactions and auctions under the purchase programmes.