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Euro zone banks are set to tighten access to corporate credit for the first time in two-and-a-half years as they become more wary of risk and negative interest rates eat into their profit, a European Central Bank survey showed on Tuesday.
Lenders cited lower risk tolerance as a factor contributing to the tightening, while also voicing their discomfort with the ECB's negative deposit rate, effectively a charge on banks' deposit with the central bank.
A large majority of banks said the charge had a negative impact on their lending rates and margins over the past six months. Some even said it was leading to an increase in their charges to customers, particularly companies, over and above interests.
The survey was conducted in September.