MADRID, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Spain banks borrowed 175 billion euros ($201 billion) from the European Central Bank in October from 171.7 billion euros a month earlier after lenders stocked up on cash at the beginning of October as Catalonia held a banned independence vote.
The secession vote by the northeastern region, alongside threats by the autonomous government that it would make a unilateral declaration of independence in October, prompted many banks and companies to relocate out of the region.
Two sources close to the matter told Reuters in early October that Spanish banks were behind a larger-than-expected 21.3 billion euros taken up at the ECB’s auction, as they sought to build a cash buffer.
Catalan leaders made good on their threat on Oct. 27 and declared the region independent from Spain, prompting Madrid to take control of the region’s governance and the judiciary to arrest Catalan leaders involved in the secession plan. ($1 = 0.8546 euros) (Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Sonya Dowsett)