Europe’s central bank hands out 1.3 trillion euros in loans

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central  bank has handed out more than a trillion euros in cheap loans to banks as part of its effort to get the economy through the virus outbreak. The central bank for the 19 countries that use the euro said Thursday it handed out 1.3 trillion euros in loans good through 2023 to more than 700 banks. It’s the biggest credit offering in the bank’s two decades in existence. The purpose is to make sure that banks have plenty of credit available for businesses that may be temporarily struggling. The ECB sweetened the offer with a negative interest rate, meaning banks are being paid to borrow.