Opposition victory “will strengthen krona”

The krona will continue to weaken against the euro and the dollar over the coming months, according to the latest analysis from Swedish bank SEB. However, the bank says that a conservative victory in the September election will strengthen the currency again.

“Low inflation is working as an anchor for the Riksbank’s option to raise the interest rate. So the krona is stuck between a ‘soft’ Riksbank on the one hand and the European Central Bank and the American Federal Reserve, who are a little tougher with their interest rate rises, on the other,” wrote SEB.

“It’s hard for the Riksbank to move forward quickly with rate rises, despite the fact that the economy is strong and that the government is adding fuel to the fire with further cash in the spring budget,” said Robert Bergqvist, chief analyst at SEB.

“And since there is no established and credible framework for how house prices and debts are taken into account in the Riksbank’s interest rate decision, it’s the inflationary outlook which ultimately determines the rate level.”

According to SEB, analysts reckon that election victory for the opposition alliance – the Moderates, the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats – will strengthen the krona. One of the main reasons behind the prediction is the proposed cuts in wealth tax.

“Such a measure ought to stop an annual outflow of capital of around 25 billion kronor,” said Robert Bergqvist.

He added that the alliance’s plans to privatise a series of state-owned companies would also create a positive capital flow.

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TT/The Local


Swedish bank’s IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

A technical problem at Sweden's Swedbank on Thursday night gave customers a nasty surprise, with their account balances inexplicably going negative, payments impossible, and Swish payments no longer working.

Swedish bank's IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

By 11.30pm, more than 2,000 Swedbank customers had reported the fault to the site Downdetector, and the problem was still not solved by 17.00pm on Friday. 

“We have an ongoing IT disruption where certain customers see an incorrect balance on their accounts,” a message on the bank’s app read. “The reason is a planned update to our internal systems which went wrong. We apologise, of course, for that and are working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.” 

The Swish payment service has also been affected, with the service, which is owned collectively by Swedish banks, reporting on its site that there was a “technical disruption at Swedbank and Sparbank which might affect Swish payments from these banks”. 

Some Swedbank customers posted their negative account balances on Twitter, expressing shock at the incorrect figures. 

The disruption comes at the worst possible time for many Swedes. Many people are paid on the 25th of the month, meaning this Friday marks the start of the payday weekend. Many will have also scheduled their bill payments for this Friday. 

Marko Saric from Malmö saw his account balance drop by 1.2 million kronor, going half a million kronor into the red. 

“It’s just totally crazy,” he told SVT. “We were going to go out and shop for the weekend. It’s lovely weather and the kids want to go out, but we can’t use our card. We’ve got no cash. Everything is in the bank.” 

“You’re just completely blocked. Colleagues need to make emergency food parcels for you. It’s just crazy that something like this should happen.” 

In its statement, the bank assured customers that their money was “secure”, and that the bank still had the correct information on what their account balance should be. 

“Customers who feel that they have suffered economic damage as a result of the disruption should contact the bank,” the message said.