The growth of Italian bank lending to businesses came to a standstill in December after growing by 2.7% the previous month, data from the Bank of Italy showed on Thursday.

A monthly report on the balance sheets of domestic banks showed loans to non-financial companies were flat year-on-year in December, showing the worst performance since February 2020, when lending was down by 1.2% year on year.

The data also showed Italian residents' deposits with domestic banks were down to 2.71 trillion euros ($2.92 trillion) compared with 2.74 trillion euros the previous month.

Gross unpaid loans fell to 30.15 billion euros at the end of December from 34.01 billion euros a month earlier. ($1 = 0.9293 euros) (Reporting by Alessia Pé, editing Federico Maccioni)