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.
The commercial real estate market plays a key role in financial stability. The financial position of commercial firms is currently satisfactory, but many firms are vulnerable to higher interest rates and weaker economic growth.
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.
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.
A new report from Finansinspektionen and the Swedish National Debt Office shows that the value of an implicit state guarantee for the major Swedish banks has decreased since the financial crisis in 2008–2009. This decrease is due to higher capital and liquidity requirements on the banks, a new regulation for managing banks in crisis and improved market conditions.
Finansinspektionen (FI) has conducted a survey of the management of market risks by savings banks and of their holdings in financial assets. FI’s assessment is that the majority of savings banks are managing their market risks in an acceptable manner.
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.
Household debt is not primarily a direct threat to financial stability. However, if the economy takes a turn to the worse, many households may be forced, or even choose, to reduce their consumption in order to continue to be able to pay off their loans. This could exacerbate a crisis and threaten financial stability, determines FI in a report on FI’s use of macroprudential tools.
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.