MILAN, April 9 (Reuters) - Private sector deposits held at Italian banks rose in February to a new high since November 2008, but loans to businesses continued to decline, Bank of Italy data showed on Tuesday.
Data from the central bank showed that private sector deposits rose 7.8 percent in February from a year earlier, after a 7.7 percent increase in January.
Lenders however did not pour that money back into the economy, and loans to non-financial firms fell 2.6 percent, following a decline of 2.8 percent in January.
Bad loans at Italian banks, a major concern for investors, rose 18.6 percent in February from 17.5 percent in January. (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio and Gabriella Bruschi; Editing by Lisa Jucca)