Keynote speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the Financial Stability Conference, Berlin
When the business cycle and the financial cycles are disconnected, monetary policy must remain anchored to its goal of ensuring price stability in the markets of goods and services. It cannot address instability in asset markets or broader financial stability risks. This is the task of macroprudential policy. Its objective is to contain systemic risk in the financial system. The role of macroprudential policy is all the more relevant in a monetary union, where economic and financial conditions may significantly differ across member states. With its granular and targeted instruments, macroprudential policy provides the most appropriate tool for staving off financial stability risks in the specific areas where they arise, being it at the level of a country, a sector or a financial institution. An effective conduct of macroprudential policy can therefore help monetary policy to remain focussed on fulfilling its price stability mandate.
The last two years have shown that macroprudential policy in Europe is already active. The implemented national macroprudential policies since the start of the CRR/CRD IV are especially focussed on structurally strengthening the banking system. In addition, the adoption of borrower-based instruments, such as loan-to-value (LTV), loan-to-income (LTI) or debt service-to-income (DSTI) by national authorities indicates that they are useful instruments in the European environment to curtail excessive credit and house price growth by acting directly on borrower’s conditions.
Going forward, we need to complete the macroprudential toolkit in the hands of European authorities to enhance consistency and policy co-ordination and to enable them to address financial stability risks emerging outside the banking system. This will be a key step to accompany further European market integration and the creation of a true Capital Markets Union. [...]