Banks will return €3.737 billion in long-term loans to the European Central Bank next week, after the ECB started to charge for holding banks’ excess cash overnight and promised more long-term loans.

The amount that banks will repay on July 16 is slightly less than this week’s crisis-loan repayments of €4.015 billion and below the €5 billion forecast in a Reuters poll.

The ECB cut interest rates last month to record lows – the deposit rate is now below zero – and took several steps to boost lending to eurozone companies. It also pledged to do more if needed to fight off the risk of Japan-like deflation. The measures include a new four-year loan scheme, with which the ECB hopes to encourage banks to boost their lending.

In order to get into shape for a Europe-wide banking stress test that will check how they would hold up if they suffered various shocks, banks are repaying funds they took from the ECB in late 2011 and early 2012.

On Friday, the ECB said four banks would repay €1.517 billion from the first of those LTROs on July 16 and seven banks would pay back €2.220 billion from the second LTRO.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us