According to the general rules for Eurosystem monetary policy instruments and procedures, the outright purchase and sale of securities on the market (outright transactions) are considered standard open market operations within the Eurosystem’s monetary policy framework. However, such operations are intended to be applied within the Eurosystem only in order to adjust the structural liquidity position of the financial sector vis-à-vis the Eurosystem. As part of the non-standard monetary policy measures adopted in response to the crisis, the Governing Council of the ECB furthermore decided to carry out additional monetary policy outright purchases with a different objective.
Transactions are being carried out as part of various monetary policy purchase programmes. Specifically, these are the covered bond purchase programme (CBPP3), the asset-backed securities purchase programme (ABSPP), the public sector purchase programme (PSPP) and the corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP). Together, the four programmes form the ECB's asset purchase programme (APP).
The monetary policy portfolios also include covered bond purchase programmes 1 and 2 (CBPP1 and CBPP2) and the securities markets programme (SMP), which have already been terminated, as well as any purchases made as part of the announced outright monetary transactions (OMTs) programme.
The ECB coordinates the purchases made through the monetary policy purchase programmes, thereby safeguarding the singleness of the Eurosystem's monetary policy. The Eurosystem makes use of decentralised implementation.