§ Mr. Shore
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what swap arrangements are available to the United Kingdom from other central banks in the European monetary system; and what additional funds are available to those European monetary system members that are also members of the exchange rate mechanism.
§ Mr. Major
[holding answer 3 May 1990]: Since 1984, a mobilisation mechanism has existed which allows EMS members to obtain dollars in exchange for the ecu provided by the European monetary co-operation fund (EMCF) against the deposit of 20 per cent. of gold and 20 per cent. of dollars in official reserves.
In addition, some credit facilities are available to EMS members. All members have access to medium-term financial support (MTFS), which is an inter-governmental facility to help member states with balance of payments difficulties, and short-term monetary support (STMS), which is a central bank facility providing support for temporary balance of payments difficulties. ERM members also have access to the very short-term financing facility (VSTF) to enable interventions to be made in Community currencies.