The number of financial institutions in the eurozone and the wider EU fell further in 2012, the European Central Bank said on Monday, with Luxembourg and France showing the biggest drops.

In the single currency area as a whole, the number of monetary financial institutions (MFIs) fell by 474 units or 6.0 percent to 7,059, with the 124 banks biting the dust in Luxembourg and 105 in France.

Slovakia had the steepest decline in relative terms with a fall of 30 percent, the ECB data showed.

MFIs include central banks, commercial banks, savings banks, post office banks and credit unions.

For the 27-member European Union, the ECB reported a total of 9,076 resident MFIs on January 1, a decrease of 511 units or 5.3

percent from the same date a year earlier. - Sapa-AFP