SPANISH banks borrowed 193.4 billion euros from the European Central Bank in January, down from 206.8 billion euros in December, according to Bank of Spain data.

The figures represent the seventeenth month of consecutive falls.

Spain’s banks took an all-time high of 411 billion euros from the ECB in August 2012, the year the country was granted 41 billion euros in financial aid for its troubled lenders.

The government decided not to extend the European aid programme, opting out at the end of 2013.