Harmonised definitions

Maturity profiles

Hard bullet

Hard bullet covered bonds are repaid on the scheduled maturity date. Neither the documentation nor the legal framework contain provisions for a maturity extension. Failure to repay the final redemption amount of a hard bullet covered bond on the scheduled maturity date could trigger the default of the relevant covered bonds and, possibly, the liquidation of the cover pool depending on the respective national insolvency rules.

Soft bullet

Soft bullet covered bonds have a scheduled maturity date and an extended maturity date. If objective, predefined and transparent criteria have been met , the maturity of a soft bullet covered bond can, and in some cases will automatically, be prolonged up to the extended maturity date. During the extension period, the covered bond may be redeemed using cover pool proceeds. Failure to repay a covered bond on the extended maturity date triggers the default of the relevant extended covered bonds (unless multiple extensions are allowed).

Conditional pass-through

Conditional pass-through (CPT) covered bonds have a scheduled maturity date and an extension mechanism. By itself, the failure to repay the CPT covered bond on the scheduled maturity date does not lead to an acceleration of this covered bond but to an extension of the maturity date of this and potentially other relevant covered bonds. The extension requires that objective, predefined and transparent criteria are met. In such circumstances the maturity of a CPT covered bond can be prolonged to the extended maturity date, which is typically linked to the maximum legal maturity of the underlying assets. During the extension period, cash-flows received or generated from the cover assets will be distributed to the covered bonds investors. Regular attempts are in general made to sell the cover pool assets to redeem the covered bonds . Such sales are subject to predefined criteria intended to protect the interests of all investors under the same programme. In certain jurisdictions and programmes, CPT covered bonds may feature an initial soft bullet extension.”

Sustainable covered bond

A Covered Bond Labelled sustainable covered bond is a covered bond that is fully compliant with the Covered Bond Label Convention, and also includes a formal commitment by the issuer to use an amount equivalent to the proceeds of that same covered bond to (re)finance loans in clearly defined environmental (green), social or a combination of environmental and social (sustainable) criteria. Covered Bond Labelled sustainable covered bond programs are based on their issuer’s sustainable bond framework which has been verified by an independent external assessment. The issuer strives, on a best efforts basis, to replace eligible assets that have matured or are redeemed before the maturity of the bond by other eligible assets. 
[Against this background, please note that the EMF-ECBC is currently working on market initiatives which will ultimately define European criteria for energy efficiency covered bonds and sustainability standards]”