'Gradual' lending recovery in 2015 says Visco

'Essential' for banks to use TLTRO funds says central banker

(ANSA) - Rome, December 15 - Banks will resume extending credit in 2015 but it will be a gradual affair, Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco told a Lower House hearing on Monday.
    "The recovery in bank lending will necessarily be gradual," Visco said. "We estimate loans to non-financial companies will resume growth not before mid-2015, while loans to families could increase in the first months of the year".
    Banks and financial intermediaries "have made explicit their intention of using low-cost financing obtained through (the European Central Bank's targeted lending program) TLTRO to support lending to businesses and families".
    "It is essential for that to happen," Visco said.


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