PRESS RELEASE

Monetary policy decisions

3 January 2002

At today's meeting, the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the minimum bid rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 3.25%, 4.25% and 2.25% respectively.

The Governing Council also decided on an allotment amount of EUR 20 billion per operation for the longer-term refinancing operations to be conducted in 2002. This amount takes into consideration the expected liquidity needs of the euro area banking system in 2002 and the desire of the Eurosystem to continue to provide the bulk of refinancing of the financial sector through its main refinancing operations. The Governing Council may adjust the allotment amount in the course of the year in the event of unexpected developments in liquidity needs.

The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 3.00 p.m. today.

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