Bad debts at Italian banks continue to rise in August-BOI
MILAN Oct 8 (Reuters) - Bad debts at Italian banks rose 22.3 percent in August from a year earlier, Bank of Italy (BOI) data showed on Tuesday, as the country's lenders continued to suffer from the consequences of a prolonged economic recession.
The rate of increase in problematic loans was unchanged compared with July, the central bank said.
Italian lenders continued to curb lending as they strive to keep credit risks in check. Loans to non-financial firms fell 4.6 percent in August, a higher rate compared with the 4.1 percent recorded in July.
Lending to households contracted by 1.2 percent from the same month of 2012, following a 1.1 percent drop in July. Rates on house mortgages decreased slightly to 3.91 percent from 3.96 percent a month before.
Loans to companies became more expensive with the average rate on loans of up to 1 million euros rising to 4.50 percent from 4.41 percent.
The average cost of bigger loans, however, fell to 2.86 percent from 2.96 percent. (Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Danilo Masoni)
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