European Central Bank loan repayments might keep falling

A Reuters poll has found that in the midst of Italian political uncertainty, money market traders believe that only €8bn of European Central Bank crisis loans will be repaid next week.

The ECB flooded euro area money markets with over a trillion euros through two long-term refinancing operations (LTROs) in December 2011 and February 2012, and banks have since taken the opportunity to return that cash two years early.

That resulted in the repayment of 137.2 billion euros (118.1 billion pounds) for the first LTRO at the end of January, and 61.1 billion euros for the second round on February 27.