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Spanish banks' ECB borrowing hits highest level since late 2013

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07/14/2020 | 05:55am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seville

Spanish banks borrowed over 196 billion euros (£176.89 billion) from the European Central Bank in June, an 11.6% increase from May to the highest level since November 2013 amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bank of Spain data showed on Tuesday.

Such borrowing has been rising as banks resort to cheap ECB loans to help mitigate the impact from the health crisis.

Euro zone banks borrowed a record 1.31 trillion euros from the ECB in mid-June, taking advantage of negative interest rates to meet growing demand for credit from companies hit by the deepest recession in living memory.

Launched six years ago, the ECB's targeted-longer term refinancing operations (TLTROs) were redesigned earlier this year to help the economy cope with the coronavirus crisis and banks will get the cash for a rate as low as minus 1%.

The negative interest rate means banks that tapped the auction will earn 0.50% for one year with no strings attached and 1% if they simply refrain from shrinking their loan book.

In August 2012, Spanish banks had taken an all-time high of 411 billion euros from the ECB, when the country's financial turmoil reached a peak and weak lenders were granted a 41.3 billion euro aid package from the European Union that summer.

(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Andrei Khalip)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BANCO BILBAO VIZCAYA ARGENTARIA, S.A. -2.30% 2.633 End-of-day quote.-47.16%
BANCO DE SABADELL, S.A. -4.04% 0.3516 End-of-day quote.-66.19%
BANCO SANTANDER, S.A. -0.70% 1.988 End-of-day quote.-46.70%
BANKIA, S.A. -2.75% 1.1655 End-of-day quote.-38.74%
BANKINTER, S.A. -0.06% 4.741 End-of-day quote.-27.42%
CAIXABANK, S.A. -0.72% 2.059 End-of-day quote.-26.41%
LIBERBANK, S.A. 7.30% 0.2425 End-of-day quote.-27.61%
UNICAJA BANCO, S.A. 5.99% 0.655 End-of-day quote.-32.33%
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