Spanish bank borrowing from the European Central Bank doubled last month, revealing a dangerous dependence on emergency funding that on Friday triggered renewed turmoil in financial markets.
The Bank of Spain disclosed the country’s biggest institutions borrowed €316.3bn (£260.9bn) from the ECB in March, almost twice the €169.8bn in February.
Traders dumped Spanish stocks and bought insurance against Madrid defaulting, convinced the data showed that the banks are now almost shut out of international credit markets.
Spain’s Ibex stock market plunged 3.6pc, with bank stocks leading the fall. The nation’s benchmark 10-year bond yields soared past 6pc, heading deep into the danger zone that experts say is not sustainable without external support.