As a sign of the extent of European banks suffering, financial institutions borrowed money from the European Central Bank (ECB) on Tuesday by the most since April 2009, leaving the door opened for speculations of a credit crunch and banks failures.

The ECB lent 247 billion euros of one-week loans to 178 banks, where 161 banks borrowed 230 billions the previous week.

The figures show the dependence of European banks on the ECB amid the struggle of indebted nations to sell bonds to borrow money.