Finansinspektionen (FI ) intends to raise the countercyclical buffer rate to 2 per cent in Q2 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has incurred large human and economic costs and also affected the financial sector. Maintaining own funds in financial institutions is important both for ensuring the resilience of the financial system and supporting banks' lending through this crisis.
FI decided on 1 April given the acute stage of the coronavirus pandemic to extend the freeze on new supervision investigations until 3 May. This decision will not be extended again, which means that the freeze on ongoing supervision meetings, investigations and information gathering will be lifted starting on 4 May.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published guidelines on 2 April on the criteria that must be fulfilled in order for measures taken to be viewed as general moratoria. FI considers exemptions from amortisation requirements for mortgages and payment reliefs for small and mid-sized firms in accordance with the Swedish National Debt Office’s loan guarantees to be measures that can be viewed as general moratoria under the guidelines.
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.
Due to the current situation with the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, Finansinspektionen has postponed the deadline for the annual reporting on money laundering and financing of terrorism. The deadline has been pushed forward from 31 March 2020 to 30 April 2020.
The spread of the coronavirus has introduced considerable challenges for society as a whole, and even the financial system. We find ourselves in an exceptional situation, and uncertainty is widespread. These extraordinary circumstances demand appropriate application of existing regulations, including rules for forbearance and assessment of a significant increase in credit risk.
During an extraordinary meeting today, Monday, 16 March, FI’s Board of Directors decided to adopt a countercyclical buffer rate of 0 per cent in accordance with the proposal presented on Friday, 13 March 2020.
Finansinspektionen proposes that the buffer rate be lowered by 2.5 percentage points and set at 0 per cent.