This report contains information on the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility (APF) for Q4 from 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019. It describes the operations carried out during the period. More information on what the APF is and what it does is available in our Market Operations Guide.
A short timeline describing the history of the APF is provided as background at the end of the report. Previous editions of the APF Quarterly Report can be found at the bottom of this page.
APF operations in the past quarter
This section contains details of gilt and corporate bond transactions, and gilts lent to the Debt Management Office (DMO), during the quarter. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) maintained the targets for the gilt and corporate bond purchase programmes during the quarter at £435 billion and £10 billion respectively.
During 2019 Q4 the APF made £2.5 billion of gilt purchases, to reinvest the cash flows associated with the maturity on 7 September of the 3.75% 2019 gilt. Gilt reinvestment auctions were completed on 3 October 2019.
The APF also made £128.5 million of corporate bond purchases during the quarter as part of a reinvestment programme to restore the holdings to the MPC’s target.
This target was reached on 10 October 2019. The stock of corporate bonds held by the APF fell back slightly to £9.9 billion by the end of 2019 Q4 as the result of maturities.
Table A summarises the stock of APF gilt and corporate bond purchases in 2019 Q4.
Table A Summary of stocks in Asset Purchase Facility Schemes (a) (£ millions)
Corporate bond purchase scheme (c)
2019 Q3 (d)
2 October 2019
9 October 2019
16 October 2019
23 October 2019
30 October 2019
6 November 2019
13 November 2019
20 November 2019
27 November 2019
4 December 2019
11 December 2019
18 December 2019
25 December 2019
Source: Bank of England.
(a) The outstanding amount in each facility is reported on a settlement date basis.
(b) The overall stock of APF gilt purchases, less redemptions, valued at initial purchase price.
(c) The overall stock of APF Corporate Bond Purchase Scheme purchases, less redemptions, valued at initial purchase price.
(d) 2019 Q3 measured as the amount outstanding as at 25 September 2019.
Chart 1 shows the cumulative net value of APF transactions between the establishment of the Fund in January 2019 and December 2019. As at 31 December 2019, cumulative assets purchased net of sales, redemptions and repayments totalled £444.8 billion. Chart 1 is separated into two panels with different scales, to help show the gilt purchase and the Term Funding Schemes (TFS) (left panel) and the various commercial paper and corporate bond schemes (right panel).
Chart 1 Cumulative asset purchases by type: amounts outstanding (a)
Source: Bank of England.
(a) Data based on settled transactions.
(b) On 21 January 2019 the TFS drawings were moved to the Bank’s balance sheet and therefore are not reported after this date.
Gilts purchased via the APF continue to be made available for on-lending to the market through the gilt lending arrangement with the DMO. The average daily aggregate value of gilts lent by the APF to the DMO during the three months to 31 December 2019 was £1.9 billion.
APF history and background
Below is a summary of some of the key milestones in the history of the APF since its establishment in 2009.
• 19 January 2009 Chancellor’s Statement announcing the intention to set up an asset purchase programme.
• 21 June 2018 Bank and HM Treasury agree new capital and income framework codified by a new Memorandum of Understanding.
• 21 January 2019 TFS drawings (and collateral) transferred from the APF to the Bank of England’s balance sheet.
Links to additional information related to the APF
Decisions by the MPC, and the minutes of their meetings, can be found here.
More information on the results of the Bank’s APF operations can be found here.
Joint Bank-DMO Statement on Gilt Lending, August 2009.