26 Jan 2013

ECB bank loans to be repaid early

6:04 am on 26 January 2013

Some of the banks in Europe that received cheap loans to keep them afloat during the eurozone debt crisis are to repay them early.

The European Central Bank said that 278 banks will repay 137.16 billion euros of three-year loans they borrowed.

The money, which was lent in December 2011 and February 2012, will be paid on 30 January.

In total, the ECB lent more than 1 trillion euros of low-interest loans to banks. The BBC reports the loans were made when many feared that the eurozone would break apart.

The ECB provided 530 billion euros of low-interest loans in February 2012 to 800 banks in the European Union.

Some 489 billion euros were lent in December 2011 and it is from this first batch that loans will be repaid early.

Both rounds of the loansincluded provisions to allow paying them off early, beginning at the end of this month. After that, repayments can continue on a weekly basis, depending on demand.