MADRID, March 15 (Reuters) - Spain's second biggest bank BBVA will continue to return cheap long-term loans from the European Central Bank over the coming months, Chairman Francisco Gonzalez told shareholders at the lender's annual meeting in Bilbao, northern Spain.
BBVA had already said that in January and February it would repay roughly half of the 30 billion euros ($39 billion) it had taken of the so-called longer-term refinancing operations, or LTROs, set up by the ECB in December 2011 and February 2012 to ease bank funding.
"We will continue to cut that amount in the coming months," Gonzalez said.
Some of BBVA's LTRO loans come from rescued savings bank Unnim, which is bought last year. ($1 = 0.7704 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White and Jesus Aguado)