Lex

Lex: Eurozone banks

The European Central Bank’s provision of €111bn of 6-day money to 78 banks – an average of €1.4bn apiece – indicates that there is still a rotten core of struggling lenders in the eurozone. The banks drinking furtively from the ECB hydrant are likely to be southern European, including Spain’s savings banks, or cajas. The ECB has laid on unlimited short-term liquidity to ease Thursday’s repayment of €442bn of 1-year money by 1,121 banks. But even though Thursday’s borrowing from the ECB was in line with expectations, and the €132bn of 3-month liquidity banks took on Wednesday was lower than expected, the eurozone bank funding crisis is far from abating. Analysts estimate that about 170 banks have difficulty accessing markets. Richard Stovin-Bradford analyses the situation.