Economic Commentaries

Misunderstood central bank reserves

Author: Tom Bernhardsen and Arne Kloster
Series: Economic Commentaries
Number: 1/2012

Recently, the media in Norway and other countries have reported that euro area banks have sharply increased their deposits with the ECB. That is correct. Some commentators attribute the high level of deposits with the ECB to banks’ unwillingness to lend to one another or to their customers, preferring to keep their funds on deposit with the central bank. This conclusion is misleading. It may be that banks are unwilling to lend, but the volume of deposits with the ECB reveals nothing about this.

Published 6 February 2012 15:00