UPDATE 1-Central banks to end 3-month dollar operations in April

Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:50am EST

Related Topics

* ECB, BoE, BOF, SNB to stop providing 3-month dollar funds

* Say dollar funding conditions have improved (Adds detail)

FRANKFURT Jan 24 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank and other major central banks will cease offering three-month dollar funds in April as strains in money markets have eased, the ECB said on Friday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's policy-setting panel opened swap lines, first with the ECB and the Swiss National Bank in December 2007 and later with other central banks, to ensure banks had access to short-term dollar liquidity.

The lines were discontinued in January 2010 but reopened that May after the sovereign debt crisis ignited. Since then, the ECB has offered one-week and three-month dollar funds in regular operations.

The ECB said it and the central banks of Britain, Japan and Switzerland would stop offering three-month dollars at the end of April "in view of the considerable improvement in U.S. dollar funding conditions".

One-week dollar tenders will continue until at least the end of July, the ECB said in a statement. Whether they will be extended will be decided in due course.

The swap lines remain open as the banks made them permanent in October, which the ECB said would make reintroducing scheduled liquidity operations easier if needed.

The total use of the dollar-liquidity lines by all central banks peaked at more than $580 billion in December 2008, but banks have recently had little appetite for using the lines.

Banks and investors around the world always have a need for dollars, but have no direct access to the lending windows run by the Fed which guarantee U.S. banks easy access to cash.

As a result, they typically pay a premium to raise dollars via the foreign exchange forward markets.

(For a copy of the statement, click on: here) (Reporting by Sakari Suoninen and Eva Taylor; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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