Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pressed euro zone finance ministers in a brief meeting on Friday to leverage the bloc's bailout fund to help solve the sovereign debt crisis, a senior euro zone official said.

The source added that Geithner made no reference to a 2008 U.S. emergency loan program called TALF, which sources have said could be a model for the EFSF, and he gave no details of how such leveraging could be done.

Commenting on a debt swap plan that is a key part of a planned second bailout for Athens, the source said it would not be a big problem if fewer than the targeted 90 percent of private investors took part in the scheme.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has asked his counterparts to tell him by September 9 how many of their banks intend to take part in the debt swap. Greece has said it may cancel the transaction if the take-up rate was below 90 percent, but sources said in July that euro zone governments had considered paying the difference.