MILAN, July 22 Bank lending to Italian
households and businesses shrank last month at the slowest pace
in two years, an industry report showed on Tuesday, pointing to
an easing in a credit crunch that has stifled the country's
Italian banking association ABI said loans to households and
companies fell 1.4 percent year-on-year in June, after a 2.4
percent drop the previous month. In November of last year, loans
were shrinking at an annual rate more than three times the level
recorded in June.
"It's the best result since July 2012," ABI said.
Overall bank lending fell 2.2 percent, compared with a 3.1
percent drop in May.
ABI said medium- and long-term loans suffered because banks
had trouble raising funds with a comparable maturity. Bonds
issued by banks fell 8 percent in June from a year earlier, a
drop of nearly 44 billion euros, ABI said. Deposits, on the
other hand, continued to rise.
Bank bond issuance in Italy has been hit by higher taxation
introduced as part of austerity measures during the euro zone
ABI said bad loans in Italy stood at 8.9 percent of the
total in May at 168.6 billion euros ($227 billion), a figure in
line with that released by the central bank earlier this month.
($1 = 0.7426 Euros)
(Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Larry King)