The European Central Bank (ECB) will explore all possible options to support the economy in the current phase of acute difficulty, Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said in a speech.
“As part of our mandate, we are willing to increase the volume of purchases, to change their composition,” said Visco, who is also a European Central Bank Governing Council member. “It has also been decided to consider the possibility of reviewing limits set in the past in carrying out these operations, to the extent necessary to make the interventions proportionate to the risks.”
Italy, the epicenter of the virus crisis on the continent, is being dragged deeper into a recession after an outbreak forced the government to ban almost all movement inside the country and shutter most production.
The European Central Bank committed to buy more than 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in debt by the end of the year, stepping up purchases of Italian bonds in an attempt to stabilise the market amid a sell-off because of the pandemic.
The governor said the central bank “will not tolerate any impediment that could compromise the effective transmission of monetary policy.”
The Bank of Italy posted 8.2 billion euros in net income in 2019, and future profitability will depend on financial markets, the grade of risks and measures that will be adopted by the ECB, Visco also said.
Visco is giving his annual speech for the bank’s approval of accounts, an event which usually gathers top Italian executives in Rome. This year’s version is being conducted virtually.