New figures from the Central Bank show that lending to consumers continued to fall sharply last month.

Overall lending to consumers was down 5.1% in February compared with a year earlier. Mortgage lending was down 2.7%, while lending to consumers for other purposes fell by 13.7%.

Lending to businesses showed a 1.6% annual fall, compared with a 1.4% drop in January.

The figures also show that the drop in private sector deposits - which includes deposits from households, businesses, financial institutions and pension funds - accelerated in February. There was an annual fall of 9.8% in deposits in February, compared with a drop of 8% in January.

Household deposits were down by 6.1% while corporate deposits fell by 14.3%. There was an underlying decline of €1.8 billion in Irish private sector deposits in February, while deposits have dropped by almost €10 billion in the last six months.

Bank borrowing from the Irish Central Bank fell by €10 billion last month to stand at €116 billion. Domestic banks accounted for €88.7 billion of this.

The figures also show that Irish banks' borrowings from the European Central Bank fell by €7.4 billion last month to €88.7 billion.