Consumer Protection Report 2023

The risks given the highest priority in FI’s consumer protection work for 2023 are unaffordable lending, unsuitable investment products and investment fraud.

FI has been working for many years to tackle unaffordable lending. In 2022 we also analysed loans that had been arranged with lenders through credit intermediaries. In these cases we identified an elevated risk of lenders approving loans, even though they had not requested sufficient information about the customer to carry out effective credit checks.

As well as following up on this during the year, we will take a closer look at the way that 'payday lenders' treat their borrowers. We are aware that these companies mainly target consumers with smaller margins in their personal finances, who would therefore have been hardest hit by recent economic events.

We are still seeing situations where conflicts of interest put consumers at risk of being given bad advice or being affected in other ways when buying financial products. During 2022 we took action against two firms for inadequacies in managing conflicts of interest, in one of the cases also for infringements concerning investment advice. Consumers are taking even greater risks when making more speculative investments, such as investing in structured products, corporate bonds and cryptoassets. This is why FI is also going to prioritise the risk of consumers buying unsuitable investment products.

Society is still plagued by fraudsters who appear to offer profitable investments to consumers, which turn out to be fictitious. FI has received a higher number of calls from consumers who have lost large sums of money. We will continue our work to warn consumers about these and other kinds of fraud. In parallel with this, we are continuing to work closely with the police and international authorities to stop fraudsters.

In this report we will also highlight the potential need to amend the regulations. FI believes that the Government should investigate the suitability of a ban on commissions on the Swedish investment market.