Unsterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention

DEFINITION of 'Unsterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention'

An attempt by a country's monetary authorities to influence exchange rates and its money supply by not buying or selling domestic or foreign currencies or assets. This is a passive approach to exchange rate fluctuations, and allows for fluctuations in the monetary base.

BREAKING DOWN 'Unsterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention'

If the central bank purchases domestic currency by selling foreign assets, the money supply will shrink because it has removed domestic currency from the market; this is an example of a sterilized policy. An unsterilized policy allows for the foreign-exchange markets to function without manipulation of the supply of the domestic currency; therefore, the monetary base is allowed to change.