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Bank of Italy aims to channel more ECB funding to small firms 

May 13, 2014
Valentina Za, Francesca Landini, Reuters

* Measures to broaden collateral pool in the works-sources

* Firms make large use of current account credit facilities

* Form of lending estimated to account for quarter of total

The Bank of Italy aims to improve financing conditions for small businesses through new measures that would enable domestic banks to use their current account facilities to secure European Central Bank funding, banking sources said.

The small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are the backbone of Italy's economy rely almost exclusively on bank financing. But loans to firms have shrunk by 71 billion euros ($98 billion) since mid-2011, when Italy was sucked into the euro zone debt crisis.

Read more: Rueters

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