Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT)

To safeguard an appropriate monetary policy transmission and the singleness of monetary policy, the ECB Governing Council specified, on 6 September 2012, a set of technical features for outright monetary transactions (OMTs) in the secondary sovereign bond markets. A necessary condition for conducting OMTs is strict and effective conditionality attached to an appropriate European Financial Stability Facility/European Stability Mechanism (EFSF/ESM) programme. Such programmes can take the form of a full EFSF/ESM macroeconomic adjustment programme or a precautionary programme (enhanced conditions credit line, or ECCL), provided that they include the possibility of EFSF/ESM primary market purchases and that a Member State has bond market access.

The ECB Governing Council will consider OMTs to the extent that they are warranted from a monetary policy perspective as long as programme conditionality is fully respected. Following a thorough assessment, the Governing Council will decide on the start, continuation and suspension of OMTs in full discretion and acting in accordance with its monetary policy mandate. Any transactions will be focused on the shorter part of the yield curve and, in particular, on sovereign bonds with a maturity of between one and three years. No ex ante quantitative limits are set on the size of OMTs, yet the liquidity they generate is to be fully reabsorbed by means of targeted operations. To date, the Eurosystem has not conducted any OMTs.