The new record high will stoke fears that the new long-term money being loaned to banks as an emergency measure is simply being hoarded rather than loaned on to businesses to foster growth in the real economy. The ECB pumped €530bn into 800 banks last week, taking the total value of its three-year loans to over €1 trillion.
The ECB deposit data does not, on its own, give a firm indication of whether banks are lending the money on to others. Instead it reflects an expansion of the money supply. But anecdotally, many bankers say that the new cash is not moving around enough to stimulate growth.