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Euro zone banks borrow 174.5 billion euros from ECB in TLTRO funds

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FILE PHOTO: ECB headquarters in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: ECB headquarters in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Euro zone banks borrowed 174.5 billion euros from the European Central Bank in the latest round of its ultra-cheap, three-year Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operation (TLTRO), the ECB said on Thursday.

Hoping that banks continue to finance firms even amid a deep recession, the ECB has cut the rate on TLTROs to as low as minus 1% and extended the duration to three years from two.

While Thursday's take up is dwarfed by the 1.3 trillion euro allotment three months ago, banks already have abundant liquidity as most of them tapped the ECB facility earlier.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa)