ECB lends eurozone banks more than 334b euros
The European Central Bank said on Tuesday that it lent eurozone banks more than 334 billion euros (429 billion dollars) for a week in its latest operation to boost interbank lending on money markets.
A total of 836 banks requested the funds, which were lent starting on Wednesday at the ECB's benchmark rate of 3.25 percent, a statement said.
The central bank has been providing huge amounts of euros, dollars and Swiss francs to eurozone banks to get them lending to each other again after the global financial crisis froze the crucial interbank markets.
The funds help commercial banks maintain minimum reserves needed to underpin lending to companies that make up the broader eurozone economy.
Markets froze as commercial banks became wary that loans to each other would not be repaid owing to huge losses being suffered following the collapse of the US market for high-risk, or subprime, mortgages.
Money markets determine the availability of credit for vast numbers of people around the globe, from managers trying to fund their businesses to families and students seeking mortgages and personal loans.