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.
FI’s Director General participated in the seminar Evolution of Mortgage Finance arranged by Stabelo for a broad group of institutional investors.
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.
New mortgagors are amortising, borrowing less and buying less expensive homes, but many still have high debt. These are FI’s conclusions in this year’s mortgage report. FI is also publishing an FI Analysis that shows the stricter amortisation requirement has reduced the percentage of borrowers with high debt in relation to their income.
In Sweden, the traditional bank-based financing model for issuing and financing mortgages is currently being supplemented by models where mortgages are being financed in new ways, e.g. alternative investment funds (AIF).
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.
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.