SAFE DEPOSITS: Banks from the 17 countries that use the euro stashed euro347 billion ($453 billion) overnight with the European Central Bank on Thursday.

NEW HIGH: The figure, the highest for 2011, in another sign that Europe's debt crisis is still putting pressure on the banking system.

WORRYING SIGNAL: Banks use the deposit facility every day in fluctuating amounts to offload excess cash. Heavy recent use suggests that even as the ECB makes more credit available to banks they are depositing some of it _ temporarily at least _ back with the central bank at low interest rates rather than lending it.