Both the global and the Swedish economies appear to be slowing down. Low interest rates – which have resulted in high risk-taking and rising asset prices – are expected to remain low for a prolonged period of time. Resilience in the Swedish financial system is satisfactory in general. However, even if the banks’ resilience is satisfactory overall, FI makes the assessment that they need more capital to cover the risks in their lending to commercial real estate firms.
Finansinspektionen (FI) considers the firms in the Swedish financial system to have sufficient resilience for withstanding a weaker economy. However, commercial real estate firms are vulnerable to shocks. FI therefore makes the assessment that the banks need more capital for these exposures. This is one of the conclusions in FI’s first stability report for the year, which is being presented today.
This FI Analysis describes how Swedish covered bonds function, how the regulation governing the cover pool is designed and how the cover pool is affected by a fall in house prices.
FI is continuing to analyse the event that occurred in September 2018 when a member on the commodity market was declared in default. We describe here several of the issues that FI is currently analysing. We are also publishing a discussion paper that FI wrote to contribute to an ongoing international discussion on auctions as a method to manage a default in a central counterparty.
Low interest rates have contributed to high risk-taking, rising asset prices and increasing debt. Higher interest rates in the next few years could reduce risk-taking and thus dampen the build-up of risk. However, unexpectedly large interest rate fluctuations and uncertain global developments could also test the financial sector’s resilience. These are some of the conclusions Finansinspektionen (FI) draws in this year’s second report on the stability in the financial system. The report will be presented at a press conference today.
The economy continues to be strong, both in Sweden and globally, but it is now showing signs of a slow-down. Interest rates have been low for a long period of time, which has led to high risk-taking and rising asset prices. As a result, the risks in the financial system are elevated. The resilience in the Swedish financial system is satisfactory in general but continued high growth in debt fuelled by lending and investments related to residential property and commercial real estate require monitoring.
Despite the positive progression over the past few weeks, there is still some uncertainty surrounding Brexit. FI has previously identified the limited access to clearing services as one of the consequences of Brexit that could have a major impact on Swedish firms. The European Commission’s communication that it will take action to manage risks to financial stability that are associated with clearing is therefore welcomed. At the same time, though, a hard Brexit could create other types of frictions that affect Swedish firms. It is therefore of utmost importance that Swedish firms continue to prepare for Brexit.
FI is publishing today three reports on sustainability. The reports show that the work with sustainability is progressing on several fronts and that the industry’s own initiatives, where relevant, are working. But there is still a lot of work left to be done. FI is also publishing a follow-up report for the Government on FI's work with sustainability-related matters in 2018.
FI has conducted a number of supervision activities related to sustainability at the same time as the organisation has been partly restructured and received additional resources. During the year, FI's work has focused on integrating sustainability-related matters into its ongoing supervision, a project that will continue and be intensified.