Thedéen discussed the impact of high household debt on financial stability and sustainable economic growth as well as the role of macroprudential policy at the 7th FIN-FSA conference on EU Regulation and Supervision.
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.
Affordable housing and household indebtedness is increasingly the focus of the public debate in many countries. Erik Thedéen participated in a plenary panel together with representatives from Australia, Canada and Ireland to discuss what can be done to manage systemic risks and maintain healthy housing markets.
Finansinspektionen publishes the capital requirements of the largest Swedish banks and credit institutions that belong to supervisory categories 1 and 2 as of the end of Q3 2018.
As outlined in the capital requirements directive, FI must review the systemicrisk buffer on an biennial basis. FI has reviewed the arguments originally setout to support a SRB buffer level of 3 % at consolidated level for the major banking groups and finds the arguments to still hold today for the three remaining major banking groups, following Nordea’s re-domicile.
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.
The major Swedish banks are resilient and have the ability to withstand a sharp deterioration in the market, according to the stress test conducted by the European Banking Authority (EBA).