European banks increase ECB lending demands

23 November 2011

Demand for funding from the European Central Bank (ECB) has increased markedly among financiers across the continent recently, new figures have shown.

Some 178 lenders have requested a total sum of €247 billion ($330 billion) from the institution over the last week, which represents the highest level of demand for more than two years.

The ongoing threat of contagion to other countries from those affected by the region's debt crisis has resulted in European markets stagnating and declining in value over the last few weeks.

As such, banks have been forced to look elsewhere other than traditional sources for capital, which has led to the ECB becoming increasingly popular.

A senior debt market banker told Reuters: "Confidence has disappeared from the banks as they are a conduit for the sovereigns."

This comes after Bob Diamond, chief executive officer of Barclays, indicated recently that European banks are n focusing on getting rid of risky assets over the next year or so.

By Claire Archer

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