Sweden to enter talks with banks

Sweden's government is to meet with representatives of the country's major banks on Thursday in a bid to understand the banks' refusal to join a state-sponsored lending guarantee scheme.

So far only Swedbank has joined the programme, introduced as part of a package of measures to boost financial stability, while the other big Swedish banks — Nordea, Handelsbanken and SEB — have remained on the sidelines.

“It is important that we create a dialogue about what the problems consist of,” Finance Minister Anders Borg told journalists.

Borg repeated his comment that the government would consider various other, unspecified measures to improve the functioning of the system and induce the banks to join it if this proved necessary, but declined to provide any specifics.