ECB says no collateral shortage in euro zone

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - There is no general shortage of securities that banks have to deposit at the European Central Bank when they borrow money from it, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Some economists have expressed concerns that a shortage of collateral could have a negative effect on bank lending, but ECB policymakers have said in the past that tighter collateral conditions tend to exist only in parts of the bloc struggling most with the debt crisis.

On average, banks had put forward 2.448 trillion euros in 2012 as collateral at the ECB, up from 1.824 trillion euros the year before. The average amount of the use of the ECB's lending facilities was 1.131 trillion euros in 2012.

"The level of over-collateralisation shows that, at the aggregate level, the Eurosystem's counterparties experienced no shortage of collateral," the ECB said in its annual report.

(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; Editing by Toby Chopra)