• Sweden edition
 
Change banks without changing account numbers: minister

Change banks without changing account numbers: minister

Published: 22 Dec 2011 14:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Dec 2011 14:35 GMT+01:00

Following recent attention on the gap between banks' mortgage rates and Sweden's benchmark interest rate, the government on Thursday tasked the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) with taking a closer look at the margins banks' are earning on their variable rate mortgages.

One possible reform under consideration is the option of allowing bank customers to take their old account numbers with them when changing banks.

"It would make things easier and more practical. I'd like customers to become more active, and if we can help with that, we should," said Peter Norman to news agency TT.

As many Swedes pay most of their bills and receive their salaries via direct, electronic deposits into their accounts, switching banks can bring with it an added degree of administrative burden for the customer.

Keeping one's account number, however, would help relieve some of the hassle, Norman believes.

He explained that one of the most important factors for putting pressure the bank profits derived from margins on home mortgages is by increasing competition through making it easier for people unhappy with their current bank to switch to a different one.

"Yes, I do think so. Today it's seen as a complicated process," he said.

The possibility of customers keeping their old account number when switching banks was not popular among Sweden's banks, however.

"It's not of much use to customers, who don't actually need to memorize their number," said Marie-Louise Ulfward, lawyer at association Swedish Bankers (Bankföreningen). to TT.

According to Ulfward, the use of such a reform is unproportional to what it would cost to implement.

"It would be a huge cost to the financial system," she said.

There are roughly 40 million bank accounts, and all these numbers would have to be changed in all customer databases before any of them could be moved.

Studies have shown that financial crises are possibly the most devastating form of crisis to hit a country, wrote Peter Norman in a debate article published in national newspaper Expressen on Thursday.

"They make their way from banks and into households and companies, putting important socioeconomic functions such as saving and loan opportunities out of play," he wrote.

Because of this, Sweden's centre-right government has suggested higher capital requirements for the country's four major banks. This means raising the amount of money banks must have to cover withdrawals at any given moment.

Finance minister Anders Borg said on Wednesday that he expects banks to lower their margins on mortgages by lowering mortgage rates, since all indications point towards the economy braking heavily.

"The banks are going to have a tough time next year if they don't start bringing margins down now, it's unacceptable that they remain on the levels they're at now," said Borg to TT.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto

UPDATED: Leaders of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats have announced their complete list of election promises in Stockholm's Nacka. READ  

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

747
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se