ECB’s balance sheet

The ECB turns into a massive backstop

MADRID | By J.P. Marín Arrese | The ECB asset purchases drive has received staunch support from the financial markets. No wonder, as it turns the central bank into a huge and largely undemanding backstop. Under the covered bond programme, it will switch banking liabilities into fresh liquidity. The ABS purchases scheme will transfer loan portfolio exposure to the ECB. Overall, both measures amount to a solid backstop for redressing banking solvency. The move comes most timely, as stress tests and asset quality reviews are due shortly to be published.