Swedish bank charges on the rise

Bank charges in Sweden have increased by 4.9 percent over the last year, according to a study by consultancy firm Capgemini.

Banks in Sweden have bucked an international trend, with charges globally dropping by one percent over the same period.

Capgemini’s Christian Fegler believes that a lack of competition and a passive customer base may go some way towards explaining developments in Sweden.

“In other markets foreign actors have come in and pushed down prices but that hasn’t happened in Sweden,” he told Dagens Nyheter.

Another explanation may be Swedes’ increased use of internet banking.

“It then becomes possible to raise costs for different manual transactions as these only affect a small proportion of customers,” said Fegler.

Kicki Westerståhl, head of the Swedish Consumers’ Banking & Finance Bureau agreed with Fegler’s assessment that the Swedish banking sector was in need of greater competition.

“Competition in banking is not working as it should,” she told Dagens Nyheter.