A currency swap line is an agreement between two central banks to exchange currencies. This allows a central bank to obtain foreign currency liquidity from the central bank that issues it – usually because they need to provide this to domestic commercial banks. For example, the swap line with the US Federal Reserve System enables the ECB and all the national central banks in the euro area (Eurosystem) to receive US dollars from the Fed in exchange for an equivalent amount of euro provided to the Federal Reserve. These agreements have been part of central banks’ set of monetary policy instruments for decades.
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