The ECB says Europe's banks are getting back on track

Despite signs of a coming crisis in Italy...

The ECB says Europe's banks are getting back on track

In this file photo, the Euro sculpture stands in front of the European Central Bank, right, in Frankfurt | Image: Michael Probst / AP/Press Association Images

The European Central Bank's quarterly bank lending survey has found that institutions are making money available to lend again.

It says that banks are competing for customers by easing credit standards for loans to companies.

"Euro area banks reported a further net easing of credit standards on loans to enterprises in the second quarter of 2016. This was slightly more pronounced than banks had expected in the previous survey round," the report says.

This comes after a sustained period of tight credit supply, which had shown little sign of abating.

"Competitive pressure remained the main factor driving this easing. In addition, credit standards on loans to households for house purchase eased marginally following a net tightening in the previous quarter," the ECB adds.

The central bank also notes that demand for loans is on the up: "Net demand for loans continued to increase across all loan categories. The main contributing factors for net demand for loans to enterprises in the second quarter of 2016 were merger and acquisition activities, inventories and working capital, the general level of interest rates, and debt refinancing."

As the benefits of the ECB's quantitative easing programme has been slow to trickle down to businesses and consumers, the bank made new cheap funds available to banks, under the condition that they lend the money into the economy.

This report covers from April to the end of June and does not reflect the sector's reaction to the UK's decision to leave the EU.