ECB announces €529 billion second round LTRO...

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has today unveiled the second round of its much-publicised short-term liquidity programme which will see €529.5 billion made available to Europe’s banks.

Announcing the figure on Wednesday morning, the ECB revealed 800 banks had applied for loans under the three-year Longer Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO). The first round of the LTRO scheme had 523 applicants back in December.

The short term loan programme enables European banks to access to loans to be repaid in three years at a rate of 1%.

The announcement marks the second round of this version of the LTRO scheme after the first round, launched in December 2011, saw €489 billion made available to European banks.

It is designed to shore up banks in the eurozone and avoid another credit crunch or banking collapse in Europe.

Markets had speculated on the figure being anywhere between €300 billion and €1 trillion. However, the amount is in the same region as the first round figure.