By Michael S. Derby
(Reuters) -Federal Reserve emergency lending to banks rose modestly in the latest week and remained at very high levels, even as many central bankers argue the worst of the banking sector’s latest stresses are waning.
The central bank said that borrowing through three programs aimed at ensuring banks have the liquidity they need rose to $325.6 billion as of Wednesday, from $316.5 billion on April 19. That number was down from the peak hit on March 22, when banks borrowed $343.7 billion in the wake of several high-profile bank failures.
Most of the Fed lending continued to come through credit extended to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation efforts to wind down troubled banks, which fell to $170.4 billion on Wednesday, from the prior week’s $172.6 billion.
But borrowing via the discount window ticked up to $73.9 billion from April 19’s $69.9 billion, while credit extended through the Bank Term Funding Program stood at $81.3 billion on Wednesday, from $74 billion the prior Wednesday.
The Fed also noted that its repo facility for foreign central banks and other official institutions fell to zero in the latest week from $20 billion the week before.
The total size of the Fed’s balance sheet moved to $8.613 trillion from April 19’s $8.643 trillion.