The ECB is the central bank which monitors the monetary policy of the Eurozone, with the main objective being to maintain price stability.
The ECB's headquarters are in Frankfurt, Germany. Its owners and shareholders of the European Central Bank are the central banks not just of the 18 eurozone countries, but of the 28 member states of the EU.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said his staff have been told to prepare measures to prevent a deflationary spiral taking hold in the eurozone. Investors expect sovereign bond purchases to begin next year - markets jumped at the prospect. After a round-up, we talk with New York correspondent Lars Halter about Wall Street's take on Draghi's comments.
The ECB takes over banking supervision of the largest financial institutions on Tuesday. Smaller banks will still come under national regulators. It will mean more close monitoring of business practises and capitalization for lenders both big and small.