Bank loans in Italy fell again in November
Recovery risks being choked by lack of credit10 January, 14:44
The central bank said loans to households and non-financial firms were 3.7% down in November on October and 4.3% down on the same month in 2012.
The data is a worrying sign as Italy's attempts to return to growth after two years of recession will be hampered if families and businesses have trouble obtaining credit.
Earlier this week Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni called on Italy's banks to stop the slide in lending.
Consumer association Codacons said the data was an indictment of the country's banks.
"It's incredible that companies and families are going to the wall, but the banks are hanging on to the money," Codacons said.
"If banks stop doing their job and lending money precisely when the Italian people need loans and liquidity, it's obvious that the economic system gets jammed.
"In short, the banks are continuing with their old vice of lending money to those who already have it or are too big to go bankrupt".