European Central Bank loans to Spain's battered banks shot up 17.2 percent to a record 337.2 billion euros ($411 billion) in June, the Bank of Spain said Friday.
Spanish banks' debts to the eurozone's banker have racked up record highs each month of this year as the banks struggle to raise money on wary interbank and debt markets.
Borrowings from the ECB, which were up from the previous month's record of 287.8 billion euros, have risen remarkably from a low point in April 2011 of 42.2 billion euros.The ECB pumped more than 1.0 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) in cheap loans into the European banking system in two operations in December and February, seeking to avert a dangerous credit squeeze.
Spanish banks tapped those cheap funds heavily, as they sought in vain to lure lenders in other eurozone countries.
Few investors are prepared to lend to Spanish banks, which are now paying the price of heavily overextending themselves during a property bubble that imploded in 2008.Spain's eurozone partners have agreed to extend a rescue loan of up to 100 billion euros to salvage the financial sector, with conditions that will include reckoning with the plunging value of banks' property assets.
On the debt market, investors demanded yields of more than 6.7 percent for Spanish 10-year government bonds in late morning trade, a level Madrid has admitted is unsustainable over the long term.
Last month, the ECB said Friday it would widen the range of securities it accepts from eurozone banks in exchange for its loans in a move to boost lending to firms and households.
In a move that helped Spanish banks in particular, the ECB said June 22 that it would accept residential mortgage-backed securities as collateral for loans.