The European Central Bank (ECB) held lengthy talks about the prospect of quantitative easing (QE) amid pressure to tackle falling inflation, according to President Mario Draghi on Thursday.
Draghi said the decision to keep policy on hold was unanimous but policy makers held "wide and rich" discussions on monetary easing.
However, he said the ECB had to take into consideration its heavy reliance on the banking sector.
"In the US, the effect of QE is immediate on all asset prices [...] because the economy based on capital markets," he explained.
"Whereas we are based on bank lending [...] so we have to be careful to take this element into account. We are a bank-based economy."
Draghi was asked about whether it would be easier to buy private debt instead of public.
He said it was not easy to design a programme of QE on private debt as the market is not large enough in size and has more risks for financial instability.
"That's why we are so behind [asset-backed securities] markets because that's where the largest pool of assets are - banks."
Ahead of the policy meeting, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Wednesday urged the ECB to ease monetary policy to push inflation higher.
She warned that "low-flation" in advanced economies risked undercutting an already sluggish global recovery.
"I certainly value advice of the IMF as it's certainly a contribution to our analysis," Draghi said in response.
The ECB decided to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.25%, as expected.
The interest rate on the marginal and deposit lending facilities were also held at 0.75% and 0%, respectively.
Draghi said while in the short-term inflation is falling, expectations in the long-term remain firmly anchored towards 2%.
The ECB sees prices gradually increasing in 2015 before moving closer towards its 2% target in 2016.
Draghi expects prices will pick up in April as services demand and expenditures rise during Easter. In 2014 the holiday falls later in the year than in 2013, which will also affect inflation next month, he said.
Inflation fell to 0.5% year-on-year in March from 0.7% in February.
Draghi noted inflation had tumbled since the 2.7% in the first quarter of 2013 and blamed 77% of the decline on lower energy and food prices.
He admits that his biggest concern was that the longer the period of low inflation drags, the higher the risk of it staying that way for some time.
He warned that risks including geopolitical factors, insufficient implementation of reforms, high debt and weak exports could have a negative impact on prices in future.
The president stressed the need for structural reforms within individual governments and reiterated that the ECB stands ready to act if needed.
"The governing council is unanimous in its commitment to using conventional and unconventional measures within its mandate to address period of long-medium low inflation."