Bloomberg writes "Rising European Bank Deposits Wind Up at ECB as Lending Sputters." The article tells us, "Banks in the euro zone, flush with new deposits, have turned few of them into loans to companies and consumers. Instead they've parked most of the money at the European Central Bank, where they're paying billions of euros for the privilege of keeping it there. Since June 2014, when the ECB cut rates below zero, deposits at euro-zone banks have jumped by 802 billion euros ($848 billion), according to central bank data through the end of January. Lending to nonfinancial companies and consumers in the currency area rose by 169 billion euros over the same period, while deposits at the ECB in excess of required reserves soared by 1.1 trillion euros." The piece adds, "Negative rates were supposed to bring down borrowing costs, thereby encouraging lending. But banks in some European countries have cut loans because they're struggling with piles of bad debt and weak capital levels. Where lenders are healthier, there's little demand for funds because of uncertainty about global trade and regional growth."

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