FI's Director General Erik Thedéen took part in a panel discussion during the conference "Consumer Behavior in Financial Markets", arranged by the Swedish House of Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics today.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has published a consumer guide with tips that target insurance customers.
The rate at which household debt is increasing has slowed the past three years. The two amortisation requirements that FI introduced contributed to this change. But the low interest rates entail risks. The debt of commercial real estate companies has been increasing sharply, and the banks have large exposures to the sector. FI decided today to raise the capital requirements for bank loans for commercial real estate. Erik Thedéen also noted that cyber threats are a challenge facing society as a whole, and cooperation is needed on a broad front.
Finansinspektionen (FI) will prioritise two consumer protection risks for further work in 2020: unaffordable lending and unsuitable advice and distribution of financial products to consumers who were not part of the product’s original intended target market. FI will also assess the adequacy of claims handling for home insurance.
FI will explore the possibility of advocating both nationally and internationally increased disclosure of firms’ internal carbon pricing.
The low interest rates are expected to remain low for a longer period of time. It could lead to greater risk-taking among various actors, and increased challenges for insurance undertakings.
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.
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.