Washington: The European Central Bank said on Friday it is suspending early repayments by banks of the emergency funds they borrowed at the height of the eurozone crisis.
The move is aimed at keeping the markekts flush with liquidity during the turn of the year.
"The governing council of the European Central Bank has decided to suspend repayments of the three-year longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs) during the year-end period, in view of the expected low interest and the concentration of other operations owing to public holidays," the ECB said in a statement.
The suspension would be only temporary and run from December 23 until January 15, the ECB said.
The ECB pumped more than 1.0 trillion euros into the financial system via three-year loans at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, effectively making available unlimited amounts for liquidity to banks at ultra-low rates.
At the time, the ECB said banks would be able to repay the three-year loans early if they wanted.