ECB, other central banks extend currency swaps

The world's five top central banks have agreed to extend temporary currency swap arrangements by a year, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.

The swap facilities were one of a range of emergency measures used by central banks to prevent the financial system from failing at the height of the financial crisis.

The ECB, the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank decided on "an extension of the existing temporary US dollar liquidity swap arrangements until February, 1 2014," the ECB said in a statement.

The swap arrangements had previously been authorised until February 1, 2013.

The five central banks also decided to extend bilateral swap lines in their own currencies by a year to February 1, 2014, the ECB statement said.

These swaps enable the provision of liquidity in each jurisdiction in any of their currencies, "should market conditions so warrant," it continued.

Swap lines enable central banks to deliver specific currency funding to banks, businesses and other institutions in their jurisdiction during times of market stress.

The move "will enable the eurosystem to continue to provide euros to those central banks when required and to provide to its counterparties, when necessary, Japanese yen, pounds sterling, Swiss francs and Canadian dollars (in addition to the existing liquidity-providing operations in US dollars)," the ECB explained.

The Bank of Japan would consider extending both sets of swap arrangements at its next monetary policy meeting, the ECB added.

The ECB will also continue to conduct regular US dollar liquidity-providing operations with maturities of approximately one week and three months, "until further notice", the central bank said.

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