Santander CEO Says ECB Should Be More Aggressive in Buying Debt

The European Central Bank should be more aggressive in buying up government debt to boost the region’s economy, Banco Santander SA Chief Executive Officer Alfredo Saenz said.

“It should be a little more aggressive in its monetary expansion and be more aggressive in purchases of public and private bank debt,” said Saenz, who helps run Spain’s biggest bank, at a banking conference in Madrid today. “It would have to do a stronger policy of European quantative easing.”

More than 800 banks borrowed more than 1 trillion euros ($1.31 trillion) from the ECB’s Long-Term Refinancing Operations in December and February as the central bank provided the region’s banks with unlimited funds to avert a credit crunch.

The three-year ECB loans are a “good step” though aren’t enough to provide a stable financial environment for banks, Saenz said. It’s also necessary for governments to meet commitments to the European Union to cut their deficits agreed with Brussels.