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Banks to repay 22.7 bln euros of 3-year loans - ECB

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 | 6:13 AM ET

FRANKFURT, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Banks will return a blockbuster 22.65 billion euros ($31.15 billion) of crisis loans early to the European Central Bank next week, the ECB said on Friday, as they get into shape for an upcoming balance sheet review. The amount is the highest weekly repayment since February, when banks had the first chance to pay back funds from the second 3-year loan. The ECB will take a thorough look at the euro zone's top lenders' books before it takes up responsibility as their supervisor from November next year. Banks have already started to clean up their balance sheets in anticipation of such tests. The pace with which banks are returning the 3-year loans they took from the ECB in late 2011 and early 2012 has picked up over recent weeks. The loans mature in early 2015. The repayments were almost four times the expected amount in a Reuters poll of money market traders - they had expected 6.0 billion euros to be returned to the central bank. By repaying the ECB's crisis funds early, banks are further reducing the level of excess liquidity - cash beyond what lenders need to cover their day-to-day operations - that is flushing around the banking sector. That has pushed it down to 163 billion euros - close to a 2-year low. The ECB is monitoring this development closely as resulting higher bank-to-bank borrowing costs could undermine the euro zone's patchy recovery. On Friday, the ECB said seven banks would repay 3.32 billion euros from the first LTRO on Dec. 18, and 9 banks will pay back 19.33 billion euros from the second LTRO. After these repayments, banks have one more chance to repay loans this year, before a year-end break. Repayment announcements will resume on Jan. 10. Announcements on details of LTRO early repayments (bln euro) First LTRO (Dec. 2011) Second LTRO (Feb. 2012)

Jan. 25, 2013 137.1591 Feb. 1, 2013 3.4840 Feb. 8, 2013 4.9925 Feb. 15, 2013 3.7900 Feb. 22, 2013 1.7440 61.092 March 1, 2013 4.1760 8.319 March 8, 2013 1.3360 2.894 March 15, 2013 0.385 6.432 March 22, 2013 1.565 0.371 March 28, 2013 3.845 3.160 April 5, 2013 4.092 3.972 April 12, 2013 6.555 4.238 April 19, 2013 8.874 2.068 April 26, 2013 1.661 0.615 May 3, 2013 0.008 0.608 May 10, 2013 1.205 5.152 May 17, 2013 1.020 0.104 May 24, 2013 6.208 1.915 May 31, 2013 2.810 0.271 June 7, 2013 2.800 0.130 June 14, 2013 3.008 0.180 June 21, 2013 5.030 0.208 June 28, 2013 2.025 0.035 July 5, 2013 0 2.095 July 12, 2013 0.513 0.702 July 19, 2013 2.182 0.200 July 26, 2013 1.064 0.451 Aug. 2, 2013 1.800 0.333 Aug. 9, 2013 0.516 0.200 Aug. 16, 2013 0.204 0.450 Aug. 23, 2013 0.100 0.205 Aug. 30, 2013 0.100 4.545 Sept. 6, 2013 3.705 2.200 Sept. 13, 2013 0.741 2.375 Sept. 20, 2013 2.650 5.260 Sept. 27, 2013 1.535 1.622 Oct. 4, 2013 4.610 3.065 Oct. 11, 2013 0.597 0.250 Oct. 18, 2013 0.105 5.094 Oct. 25, 2013 1.445 0.311 Nov. 1, 2013 5.288 5.363 Nov. 8, 2013 2.910 2.857 Nov. 15, 2013 3.155 0.431 Nov. 22, 2013 2.841 5.0815 Nov. 29, 2013 5.105 2.130 Dec. 6, 2013 3.138 3.932 Dec. 13, 2013 3.320 19.330 ===============================================

Amount outstanding as of Dec. 5

215.286 372.501

($1 = 0.7271 euros)

(Reporting by Frankfurt newsroom)