ECB should establish public database of its corporate bond purchases- Hayes
Brian Hayes MEP today said that the ECB should establish a single aggregated database of all its corporate bond purchases under its corporate bond-buying programme.
“The ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Programme, often dubbed ‘QE for corporates’, needs a proper overhaul from a transparency perspective. Many have rightly questioned whether this programme is being disguised to favour certain companies over others in Europe by buying their bonds. And while ECB President Mario Draghi has firmly assured MEPs that companies are selected on the basis of strict economic criteria, we need full public disclosure about how this programme works.
“I don’t think this is a case of crony capitalism or favouritism towards certain companies; I am confident that the ECB is selecting companies for the bond buying programme on the basis of the level of risk. And that should be the key indicator for this programme. Even still, the ECB needs to disclose how and why it selects certain companies for bond purchases.
“The level of transparency for this programme is very low. President Draghi says that it is up to national central banks to publish the information about the bond purchases. Unfortunately, many national central banks do not provide enough information on the bond purchases. I am aware that the Central Bank of Ireland publishes the ISIN codes of all the bond purchases in Ireland but I am not convinced that is enough. Irish companies selected under the programme include Ryanair, Kerry Group and CRH. Neither the ECB nor the Central Bank of Ireland publish substantive details of the bond purchases involving these companies.
“The ECB should develop a single aggregated database with the essential information about the bond purchases on a country by country basis. I believe this should include the name of the company and where necessary the volume of funds involved. We should also get public disclosure on the criteria used to select companies.”