Some banks have used the money to pay off financing debts that were coming due while others used some of it to buy government bonds, easing borrowing for heavily indebted governments such as Spain and Italy. That eased fears they might have trouble paying their debts due to high borrowing costs — the factor that pushed Greece, Ireland and Portugal to need bailout loans from the other eurozone countries.
But some of the money has been kept back by banks that are under pressure from the European Union to strengthen their finances against the debt crisis. Extra cash has also been washing back to the ECB as overnight deposits, although Draghi stressed it was not coming from the banks that had borrowed the funds but from others.
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