Swedbank signs up to crisis fund

Swedish bank Swedbank has said it plans to sign up to the loan guarantee programme contained within the government's financial stability package.

Swedbank signs up to crisis fund

The bank said in a statement that it intended to submit an application to the government.

Swedbank said it would stand by its decision regardless of whether the country’s other major banks elected to take part in the programme.

“It’s difficult for us to speak for the other banks. But it is our understanding that the programme will be most effective if all banks are on board,” said spokeswoman Anna Sundblad.

The National Debt Office (Riksgälden) is charged with managing Sweden’s banking crisis fund. Swedbank’s application will be sent to the debt office for approval as part of the framework agreement for state loan guarantees.

Swedbank has not yet specified the exact period for which it will be requesting state loans.

“It’s necessary to sign an agreement regarding the duration of each loan,” said Sundblad.

Under the terms of Riksgälden’s agreement, Swedbank will be obliged to pay a higher risk premium than the other major banks.

Swedbank’s risk premium has been calculated at 0.33 percentage points on top of the basic fee of 0.50 percentage points.

This can be compared with a risk premium of 0.25 percent for Handelsbanken.


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.