Euro area credit institutions can receive central bank credit, not only through monetary policy operations, but exceptionally also through emergency liquidity assistance (ELA).
ELA refers to an operation whereby a Eurosystem national central bank provides:
- central bank money and/or
- any other assistance that may lead to an increase in central bank money
to a solvent financial institution or group of solvent financial institutions facing temporary liquidity problems.
ELA is not part of the single monetary policy. The rules and procedures surrounding the provision of ELA are laid down in the “ΕLA Agreement”, which distinguishes the role of the national central banks that provide ELA from the role of the ECB Governing Council. The latter assesses, pursuant to Article 14.4 of the Statute of the ESCB and of the ECB, whether an ELA operation interferes with the the single monetary policy of the Eurosystem.
Starting from 2015, the Bank of Greece, with a view to strengthening the confidence of the public and of money market participants in ELA-related decision making, placed particular emphasis on transparency. Thus, from September 2015 to January 2019, the Bank posted on its website press releases regarding the provision of ELA to Greek banks, including information on the ELA ceiling applicable from time to time.