Nine Swedish banks conduct systemically important operations and therefore must be managed through a particular procedure, resolution, in the event of a crisis. This assessment is made by the Swedish National Debt Office in the resolution plans on which it has now decided.
The Debt Office periodically analyses the institutions’ (banks’) functions and their importance for the financial system. The analysis is summarised in so-called resolution plans, which set out how every individual bank should be managed if a crisis were to occur.
For systemically important banks, which are critical to the essential functioning of the financial system and could significantly disrupt it if they were to fail, the Debt Office plans for resolution. Through resolution, the central government assumes control of the bank in crisis and keeps it open while it is restructured or wound up in an orderly manner. An important purpose of resolution is for the bank's shareholders and creditors to bear the costs of crisis management.
On 9 December, the Debt Office made this year’s decisions on resolution plans as well as the Minimum Requirement for own funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL) with which the banks must comply. The requirements for the systemically important banks are intended to ensure that they have sufficient own funds and eligible liabilities to enable them to be recapitalised without relying on tax funds. The requirements apply as of 1 January 2021. (For SEB and Swedbank, the requirements apply as of 23 December 2020. This is due to the transition to the BRRD2 regulatory directive in certain jurisdictions in which the banks operate.)
“Resolution plans and MREL are a result of the extensive crisis preparedness work conducted by the Debt Office. This work not only improves the preconditions for managing future financial crises without taxpayers having to foot the bill, but it also reduces the risks of a crisis occurring at all,” says Hans Lindblad, Director General of the Debt Office.
Nine systemically important banks in Sweden
As in previous years, nine banks are considered systemically important. These are: Handelsbanken, SEB, Swedbank, Landshypotek, Länsförsäkringar, SBAB, Skandiabanken, Sparbanken Skåne, and the Swedish Export Credit Agency.
Institution (with operations deemed critical to the financial system)
MREL (percentage of total liabilities and own funds)
Swedish Export Credit Corporation
1 MREL at the group level.
See the memorandum Application of the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities and the Debt Office’s Questions and answers regarding MREL for information about how the requirements are calculated.
See the table attached below for all MREL requirements for the Swedish systemically important banks. The table will be updated with MREL for Danske Hypotek AB (publ) on 21 December.
Most banks are not considered systemically important
The Debt Office assesses that the majority of the banks that fall within its resolution planning could be wound up via bankruptcy proceedings or liquidation if they were to fail. For the 145 banks in this category, the Debt Office has made decisions on so-called simplified resolution plans and MREL that does not exceed the capital requirements.
Deposit insurance always applies
Irrespective of how an institution is managed in a crisis, deposit insurance always applies. This means that depositors’ money is protected up to SEK 950,000 per depositor and institution. As of 1 January 2021, the new amount of SEK1,050,000 per depositor and institution will apply.
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