In order to be an eligible counterparty for monetary policy operations, a credit institution must be subject to the Eurosystem's minimum reserve system and be financially sound. In addition, counterparties must fulfil any operational criteria specified in the regulatory arrangements applied by their NCB, or the ECB, so as to ensure the efficient conduct of Eurosystem monetary policy operations.

These credit institutions may access Eurosystem standing facilities and participate in the Eurosystem's main refinancing operations and longer-term refinancing operations. The Eurosystem has limited the group of counterparties for fine-tuning operations and structural operations to counterparties that are active players in the money market. For outright transactions, no restrictions are placed on counterparties. For foreign-exchange swaps, the institutions must be counterparties who are active institutions in the foreign exchange market.