The Eurosystem’s regular open market operations consist of one-week liquidity-providing operations in euro (main refinancing operations, or MROs) as well as three-month liquidity-providing operations in euro (longer-term refinancing operations, or LTROs). MROs serve to steer short-term interest rates, to manage the liquidity situation and to signal the monetary policy stance in the euro area, while LTROs provide additional, longer-term refinancing to the financial sector.
In recent years, the regular operations have been complemented by two liquidity-providing long-term refinancing operations in euro with a three-year maturity (maturing on 29 January 2015 and on 26 February 2015), as well as by US dollar liquidity-providing operations. In addition, the ECB announced in June 2014 that it would conduct a series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) aimed at improving bank lending to the euro area non-financial private sector, excluding loans to households for house purchase, over a window of two years. (For modalities of the TLTROs see the press releases of 5 June 2014 and 3 July 2014.)
In addition and since 2009, several programs of outright purchases have been implemented with the objective of sustaining growth across the Euro zone and in consistency with the aim of achieving inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.
More information on the asset purchases programmes.
An annex entitled “Chronology of monetary policy measures of the Eurosystem” is provided in each issue of the ECB’s Economic Bulletin (formerly: Monthly Bulletin). For details of the ECB’s response to the recent financial crisis, see the article in the October 2010 issue of the Bulletin, and President Draghi’s speech “The role of monetary policy in addressing the crisis in the euro area” (15 April 2013). For the challenges to monetary policy in a low inflation environment, see President Draghi’s speech “Monetary policy in a prolonged period of low inflation” (26 May 2014).