ECB ups lending

26 June 2009

The European Central Bank (ECB) has pumped a record amount of money into the European banking system in a bid to prop up the sector during the global recession.

It provided €442.2 billion ($619 billion) in one-year loans in an effort to stimulate the eurozone's weakened banking sector and encourage greater lending between institutions.

Over 1,100 banks in the region will benefit from the cash injection and the loans are to be repaid at the ECB's current benchmark interest rate of one per cent.

It is hoped the move could prove an important step in guaranteeing the future of the European banking sector's stability, as a growing number of reports suggest the global economy is beginning to emerge from the recession of recent months.

By pumping more money into the banking sector, the ECB could be safeguarding the industry from future shocks and might be able to reduce the risk of future problems in the market resulting in banking collapses.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England has revealed that the UK banking crisis has stabilized, although it remains vulnerable to future shocks.

The bank warned total losses from the financial crisis have hit $15 trillion, down from the March prediction of $25 trillion.

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