Figures from the Central Bank show an increase in households’ deposits with banks during December. Lending to consumers continued to fall, however, while lending to business also dropped back after a slight pick-up in November.
The bank said loans to households were down 3.8% compared with December 2010. The annual fall in November was 4.1%. Mortgage lending was down 2.5% over 12 months, while lending for other purposes fell by 8%.
During December, lending to households dropped by €90m, though mortgage lending was up €37m.
Lending to businesses in December was down 1.6% from a year earlier, compared with a 1.5% annual fall in November.
Business loans with terms of between one and five years are showing the biggest falls, according to the Central Bank, while short-term loans of less than one year continue to grow.
The Central Bank figures also show that private sector deposits – deposits from households, businesses, financial institutions and pension funds – grew by more than €100m during December, mainly due to an increase of more than €540m in deposits from households.
This slowed the annual rate of decline in December to 7.3%, compared with 9% in November.
The amount which has been borrowed by financial institutions from the Central Bank as part of the euro system rose by almost €4.5 billion during December to €108.4 billion. The Central Bank said this was mainly due to IFSC banks using ECB refinancing operations.
The domestic banks accounted for just under €72 billion of this, down €1.1 billion from November.