Friday, March 08 11:33:19
Banks will next week repay the ECB 4.23 billion euros from the two 3-year loans they took a year ago, a drop in the payback rate that shows they prefer to hold surplus cash in case financial markets clog up again.
The ECB said today 35 banks had decided to repay funds from the loans on March 13, with 1.336 billion euros repaid from the first one and 2.894 billion from the second.
The amounts were below Reuters poll forecasts, which estimated banks would return 3 billion euros of the first round of cheap loans and 5 billion of the second. The loans are known as LTROs (long-term refinancing operations).
The ECB lent banks a total of more than 1 trillion euros in the twin 3-year, ultra-cheap lending operations in December 2011 and February 2012 - a ploy that ECB President Mario Draghi said "avoided a major, major credit crunch".
Banks took 489 billion euros in the first LTRO and 530 billion in the second.