The majority of consumption loans (non-mortgage loans) are small and have a high interest rate and a short maturity. However, it is households with large loans that represent the largest share of new lending, and these loans are growing at the fastest rate. The households with the highest income take out the largest loans. If the interest rate increases, many borrowers will need to use a large part of their income to make their interest and amortisation payments. This is evident in Finansinspektionen’s (FI’s) analysis of consumption loans, Swedish Consumption Loans.
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.
In this report, Finansinspektionen (FI) presents the most prioritised consumer risks it has identified for 2019. FI also presents the experiences from its consumer protection work over the past year. Finally, FI identifies two areas on the financial market where consumer protection is clearly deficient and proposes regulatory changes to fill these gaps.
High debt can mean risks for individual households, banks, financial stability and macroeconomic development. The mortgage survey serves as an important basis for the assessment of the risks associated with household debt.
Under FI's stricter amortisation requirement, which went into effect on 1 March 2018, new mortgagors with debt in excess of 450 per cent of gross income must amortise 1 percentage point more of their loan per year in addition to the existing requirement. The objective of the stricter requirement is to strengthen resilience of households by decreasing the number of mortgagors who have high debt in relation to their income.
FI has surveyed 25 funds of funds managed by 25 fund management companies and AIF managers. FI has scrutinised how the consumer is informed about fees and how the managers have reported their funds of funds’ objectives and performance.
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.
Most loans for consumption are small and have a high effective interest rate and a short maturity. Households with large loans represent the largest share of new lending, though, and the large loan segment is growing the fastest. Households with high income have the largest loans. Borrowers with mortgages normally have larger consumption loans than borrowers without mortgages. These are some of the results from FI’s mapping of consumption loans, Swedish Consumption Loans 2018.
The Swedish economy continues to be strong, and resilience in the financial system is satisfactory. However, a long period of low interest rates and strong growth has resulted in an elevated risk appetite, high asset prices and high debt globally, among Swedish households and on the commercial real estate market. The high level of indebtedness makes the financial sector more sensitive to shocks, and, if necessary, FI will take additional measures to strengthen the resilience.
This FI Analysis presents an assessment of the Swedish mortgage cap. The analysis indicates that the mortgage cap has changed household behaviour. Households with new mortgages borrow less than what they would have done if FI had not implemented the mortgage cap. They are also buying less expensive homes.