October 10, 2019 / 7:47 AM / 2 months ago

ECB's Draghi ignored advice against restarting bond purchases - FT

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi speaks at the Academy of Athens during his visit in Athens, Greece, October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

BERLIN (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi ignored advice from the bank’s monetary policy committee not to resume bond purchases, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, shedding more light on how divisive the move was.

The ECB pledged indefinite bond purchases in September, even as more than a third of the rate-setting Governing Council opposed the move, an unusually high level of dissent for a body that normally strives for consensus.

The monetary policy committee - made up of technocrats mostly from the euro zone’s 19 central banks - sent a letter to Draghi and other Governing Council members several days before the meeting, advising against fresh bond buys, the FT cited three members of the council as saying.

Although the committee’s advice is not binding, there have only been a handful of occasions during Draghi’s eight-year tenure that the Governing Council went against it, the FT added.

An ECB spokesman declined to comment.

The ECB will start bond purchases, at 20 billion euros per month, on Nov 1.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Balazs Koranyi

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