The total debt of Spanish banks to the European Central Bank (ECB) fell by 35 percent in December 2013 from a year before, according to data published on Tuesday.
The Bank of Spain reported that Spanish banks owed a total of 201.865 billion euros (276.264 billion U.S. dollars) to the ECB in December, which meant an 8.4 percent fall on a monthly basis. So far, the debt has been declining for 16 consecutive months.
Spain's debt to the ECB represented 30.3 percent of the total eurozone debt in December. It dropped 2.3 percent from November.
Despite the fall, the debt was still disproportionately high, as Spanish banks' liabilities and assets only represent 10 percent of the total European banking.
Spanish banks' debt to the ECB peaked at 388.736 billion euros last August after Spain asked the European Union for a bailout to recapitalize its banks. After that the debt has declined steadily.
The EU offered Spain a bailout of up to 100 billion euros, of which 36.968 billion euros were used to recapitalize Spanish banks.