Spanish Banks’ Net ECB Loans Jump to Record 288 Billion Euros

Spanish lenders’ net borrowings from the ECB jumped to a record 287.8 billion euros ($361.4 billion) in May, highlighting the thirst of the financial system for funding before the country’s banking bailout.

Net average ECB borrowings climbed from 263.5 billion euros in April, the Bank of Spain said on its website today. Gross borrowing was 324.6 billion euros in May, up from 316.9 billion euros in April.

Spain on June 9 became the fourth euro member to seek a bailout since the debt crisis began almost three years ago, asking for as much as 100 billion euros to rescue lenders pummeled by a real estate slump now in its fifth year.

The increase in ECB borrowings “conveys the severity of the predicament some banks found themselves in ahead of last week’s bailout,” Martin van Vliet, an economist at ING Bank in Amsterdam, said in an e-mailed comment. “Now that concerns about the solvency of Spain’s banks will be addressed, financing difficulties should gradually start to ease. But we should expect the Spanish banking system to remain heavily dependent on central bank funding for quite some time.”

The net amount subtracts the average amount parked by Spanish banks at the overnight deposit facility, van Vliet said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net Emma Ross-Thomas at erossthomas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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