Barclays borrows 8.2bn euros from ECB

Barclays Bank signs
Image caption Barclays has earmarked 6.2bn euros for Spain and 2bn euros for Portugal

Barclays has confirmed that it borrowed 8.2bn euros (£6.7bn) from the European Central Bank's (ECB's) latest long-term refinancing operation (LTRO).

It is the fourth British bank to reveal that it accessed the low-interest three-year loans.

It said it would use the money to manage the risk associated with funding gaps in Spain and Portugal.

Barclays did not take any cash from the ECB's previous offer of such loans in December.

The BBC's business editor, Robert Peston, says that given the cheap interest rate at which the money is offer these loans are arguably a susbsidy by eurozone taxpayers for UK financial institutions.

On Wednesday the ECB said that 800 banks across the European Union had accessed 530bn euros through its LTRO.

In December, more than 500 banks borrowed 489bn euros.

Of the other big four British banks, Lloyds borrowed 13.6bn euros in the latest auction, HSBC borrowed 5.6bn euros, most of it in the first auction, and RBS borrowed 10bn euros across both auctions.

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