(Reuters) - The European Central Bank will not begin outright quantitative easing (QE) this year, most euro money-market traders polled by Reuters said on Monday.
Nineteen of 24 money-market traders said they do not expect an ECB asset-purchase programme to start this year, because the ECB is banned from buying government bonds and assets outright.
"Even if the ECB wants to, it will not be allowed to do so," said a trader at a large dealer.
But the remaining five respondents in the poll said the central bank would undertake QE by ending its sterilisation operations under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP).
The liquidity provided through the SMP is now absorbed by weekly collections of fixed-term deposits - called sterilisation.
The regular survey showed banks are expected to repay 2 billion euros (1.65 billion pounds) in total of the ECB's twin three-year crisis loans next week. They will return 2.9 billion euros this week.
Banks have repaid more than half of the over 1 trillion euros in crisis loans made since January of last year. As a result, excess liquidity in the currency bloc has fallen to the lowest level since December 2011.
The poll also showed the ECB will allot 95 billion euros at its weekly operation and 6 billion euros at the three-month tender. That is slightly more than the amount maturing this week for both those operations.
(Reporting by Sarmista Sen and Anu Bararia; Polling by Ishaan Gera and Sarbani Haldar; Editing by Larry King)