Despite positive signals, there is still considerable uncertainty about how the coronavirus pandemic will develop in the next few months in both Sweden and the rest of the world. To ensure the banks’ resilience in a situation that continues to be uncertain, the banks should suspend the payment of dividends to shareholders in 2020. This was the message from Finansinspektionen’s Director General Erik Thedéen at Fastighetsdagen today.
Governments, central banks, and authorities around the world have taken powerful measures to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. These measures also helped dampen uncertainty on the financial markets. By utilising available buffers and continuing to lend to firms and households, the financial sector can dampen the impact of the crisis. It is also important to remember that the economic crisis is not over, and uncertainty is therefore high, notes Finansinspektionen (FI) in its first stability report of the year.
Banks will have the possibility of offering all new and existing mortgagors an exemption from the amortisation requirements due to the spread of the coronavirus and its effects on the Swedish economy. The exemption will be in force until the end of June 2021. This enables Finansinspektionen to provide all mortgagors with greater manoeuvrability in these uncertain times.
The spread of the coronavirus has created immediate challenges for society and caused economic disruptions throughout Sweden and the global economy. The forecasts for the Swedish economy are rapidly deteriorating. Therefore, it is important the we safeguard a stable supply of credit to households and firms and maintain good resilience in the system. Banks and credit market companies play a crucial role in this respect.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many households and firms may be exposed to economic stress. Even if the crisis is expected to be temporary, its effects can be far-reaching. Banks and borrowers may agree to reduce or suspend amortisation payments temporarily given special grounds. FI considers the loss of income linked to COVID-19 to qualify as special grounds.
Given the current circumstances, FI would like to clarify that it will temporarily allow banks to fall below the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) for individual currencies and total currencies.
The spread of the coronavirus disease is sending serious economic shocks throughout the world and in Sweden. There is currently widespread uncertainty about the future course of events and how far-reaching the economic impact will be. The economic disruptions and the greater uncertainty are also affecting the financial system. Finansinspektionen (FI) will therefore lower the countercyclical capital buffer requirement for banks from 2.5 per cent to 0 per cent. This corresponds to a reduction of around SEK 45 billion. The buffer is being lowered pre-emptively to ensure a well-functioning supply of credit, which helps firms and households maintain production, consumption and investments.
Finansinspektionen (FI) considers there to be elevated risks in the banks’ lending for commercial real estate. The banks should hold more capital for these exposures, which is why FI is raising the capital requirements.
FI will explore the possibility of advocating both nationally and internationally increased disclosure of firms’ internal carbon pricing.
Finansinspektionen (FI) considers the firms in the Swedish financial system to have sufficient resilience for withstanding a weaker economy. However, commercial real estate firms are vulnerable to shocks. FI therefore makes the assessment that the banks need more capital for these exposures. This is one of the conclusions in FI’s first stability report for the year, which is being presented today.