ECB To Experiment With Minutes

The European Central Bank has started to draft trial minutes of its Governing Council meetings and will experiment with different formats in coming months, according to two euro-region central-bank officials.

The minutes will summarize arguments presented by policy makers at their monthly rate-setting meeting, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because talks on the matter are private. The exercise includes exploring ways to shed light on voting behavior without mentioning Governing Council members by name, one of the people said. Both said that the ECB isn’t ready to unveil the measure this week.

President Mario Draghi and officials have spent months discussing how to enhance the ECB’s communication and increase the transparency of their decision making. Policy makers are due to meet in Frankfurt on March 6 after better-than-forecast economic growth, inflation and sentiment data reduced the urgency for them to add stimulus this month.

“On the minutes, we still are reflecting on it,” Draghi said on Jan. 9. “It’s not an easy issue.”

An ECB spokesman declined to comment on the trial minutes. A debate at the institution on whether to use them gained intensity in the middle of last year, highlighting the contrast with counterparts including the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has used minutes to provide insight into policy for years.

While ECB officials concur that such a move will provide investors with more guidance on policy discussions, they have disagreed over how much to reveal. Executive Board member Benoit Coeure told Bloomberg News in January that he is “on the side of those who think the individual votes should be published.”


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell