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ECB glossary

accession criteria

See Copenhagen criteria (accession criteria)


The legal and political obligation of an independent institution to properly explain and justify its decisions to the citizens and their elected representatives, thereby making it responsible for fulfilling its objectives. The ECB is accountable to the European citizens and, more formally, to the European Parliament.

acquis communautaire

The body of EU legislation, including its interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union, by which all EU Member States are bound.

Administrative Board of Review (ABoR)

A governance structure of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, established by the ECB according to Article 24 of the SSM Regulation, for the purposes of carrying out, on request, independent internal administrative reviews of the supervisory decisions taken by the ECB and ensuring that such decisions conform with the ECB’s supervisory tasks and procedures. The Administrative Board of Review is composed of five individuals of high repute from Member States, with a proven record of professional supervisory experience and relevant knowledge in the fields of banking or other financial services (but not staff of a national competent authority, the ECB, or another EU institution). See also Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM)

Alert Mechanism Report

The first step of the EU’s surveillance procedure for preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances. In the report, the European Commission identifies EU Member States that will be subject to further in-depth analysis under the macroeconomic imbalance procedure. See also macroeconomic imbalance procedure (MIP)


The systematic reduction in the accounts of the value of assets over a period of time or of the value of a premium/discount.


See automated security lending programme (ASLP)


A resource controlled by an enterprise as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the enterprise.

automated security lending programme (ASLP)

A financial operation combining repo and reverse repo transactions where specific collateral is lent against general collateral. As a result of these lending and borrowing transactions, income is generated through the different repo rates of the two transactions (i.e. the margin received). The operation may be conducted under a principal-based programme, i.e. the bank offering this programme is considered the final counterparty, or under an agency-based programme, i.e. the bank offering this programme acts only as agent, and the final counterparty is the institution with which the security lending transactions are effectively conducted.

average cost

The continued (or weighted) average method, by which the cost of every purchase is added to the existing book value to produce a new weighted average cost.