ECB says no changes to collateral for Greek banks
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank has made no changes to the eligible collateral Greek banks can put up to receive emergency loans from the Bank of Greece, the ECB said on Monday, dismissing a newspaper report that it had agreed to broaden the framework.
Greek banks no longer have access to the wholesale market and are dependent on their central bank for liquidity. The Bank of Greece is, in turn, dependent on the ECB for approval for providing this so-called Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA).
Earlier, German daily Die Welt reported the ECB had agreed to broaden the eligible set of securities Greek banks could put up as collateral to tap liquidity from the Bank of Greece.
An ECB official said this was not the case.
"The set of eligible collateral for ELA in the case of Greece has not been changed," the official said.
In August, the ECB agreed to raise the ceiling on the amount of T-bills the Bank of Greece could accept as collateral in exchange for ELA to keep the country afloat until the troika of international lenders decides if Athens will get its next tranche of aid.
However, ECB President Mario Draghi said last Thursday the ECB could do much more to help Greece with its debt burden, telling reporters: "The ECB is by and large done."
(The story is refiled to fix final paragraph to add dropped word)