Finansinspektionen has notified the EU Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) that it intends to adopt a decision to extend the current risk weight floor for Swedish Mortgages for a period of one year, in accordance with Article 458 of the CRR.
FI’s Board of Directors has decided that the proposal communicated on 2 April will go into effect as of today. This means that banks will now be able to grant both new and existing mortgagors exemption from the requirement on amortisation. The exemption gives mortgagors greater financial manoeuvrability in these uncertain times during the spread of COVID-19.
The proposal provides mortgage undertakings with the possibility of granting all new and existing mortgagors a temporary exemption from amortisation requirements. The exemption possibility applies during a severe downturn in the Swedish economy. The current situation due to the spread of the corona virus is a clear example of when the exemption may be granted to all mortgagors amortising in accordance with the amortisation regulations.
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 percentage of new mortgagors with a high level of debt in relation to either their income or the value of the home continues to be high. New mortgagors in 2019 increased their average loan-to-income ratio. The average loan-to-value ratio also increased in 2019 among new mortgagors, thus breaking the trend of falling loan-to-value ratios since 2013.
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.
This FI Analysis shows that households’ tendency to use mortgages for purchases other than buying a home decreased following the amortisation requirements.
This FI Analysis shows that the the increase in house prices is the primary reason it has become more difficult for young adults to buy a home.
The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has issued warnings to five EEA countries and recommendations to six EU countries for medium-term vulnerabilities in their respective residential real estate sectors. Sweden is one of the countries that receives a recommendation. The recommendation suggests appropriate actions to address the identified vulnerabilities. In 2016, the ESRB issued a warning to Sweden regarding risks in the residential real estate sector.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The procyclical nature of the financial sector tends to amplify cycles and may turn a severe downturn into a financial crisis. One of FI’s tasks is to mitigate this pro-cyclicality.
A speech given by Erik Thedéen, FI's Director General, at the UBS Annual Nordic Financial Services Conference in Stockholm today.
FI’s Board of Directors decides to change the method used to apply the current risk weight floor for Swedish mortgages through Pillar 2 by replacing it with a corresponding requirement under Article 458 of the Capital Requirements Regulation. The change will enter into force on 31 December 2018.