The annual rate of decline in loans to households eased to 3.9% in March from 4% in February, according to the latest figures from the Central Bank.
The bank said that a drop in lending for house purchases and consumption again accounted for much of the overall reduction in lending.
Lending for house purchases was 2.4% lower in March, while lending for consumption and other purchases fell by 8%.
The Central Bank says that loans to households declined by €167m in the month, following a net monthly fall of €355m in February.
The figures also showed that domestically-owned banks accounted for €75 billion of the €87.7 billion Irish-based lenders had borrowed from the European Central Bank at the end of March. This was up from the €71.3 billion a month earlier after local banks participated in the ECB’s Long-Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO).
On deposits, the Central Bank said that private sector deposits fell by 4.5% in the year to March, compared to a fall of 6% in the year to February.