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ECONOMY

‘Sweden will be affected by the crisis’: experts

Swedish experts say Sweden won't avoid being affected by the turbulent world economy and on Sunday financial spokesperson for the Social Democrats, Tommy Waidelich, said that he wants to gather the Riksdag’s financial committee to discuss the situation.

'Sweden will be affected by the crisis': experts

“With things as they are today I think that the committee on finance should be summoned to discuss the situation. I also think that the Riksbank should attend that meeting,” Waidelich told news agency TT on Sunday.

On Friday Waidelich had said that the state of the world economy was so severe that the government should initiate talks with the opposition and that the Riksdag’s Committee on European Union Affairs should be called to attend.

Since then the developments in the United States has led to a harsher tone between the US and China and Waidelich, who is deputy chairperson of the finance committee, said on Sunday that he will now demand an extra committee meeting to discuss recent international developments.

Several Swedish financial experts also said on Sunday that they believe the international financial instability will have consequences for the Swedish economy.

Head economist at Swedish bank Swedbank, Cecilia Hermansson, told TT that Sweden can’t avoid being affected by a world economy sent rocking, despite its own healthy state finances.

“If we enter a sluggish financial development on the world markets it will affect Sweden too. What will most probably happen is that monetary policy will become less severe. The government has announced that some reforms may have to be postponed. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that all types of support for the financial market should be completely ruled out if the economic trend points downwards,” she told TT.

Thomas Pousette, head analyst at Swedish bank SBAB is certain that Sweden can expect an unstable and spasmodic financial autumn.

“These are not problems that will resolve themselves all at once. It will be a question of seeing how policy will be shaped in the affected countries, how these are received and the effects they will have. This is just the beginning of a trend that might be pretty unstable for a longer period of time,” Pousette told TT.

The announcement by the European Central Bank on Sunday that they will purchase eurozone bonds did some to stabilize the Asian markets and stave the massive drop expected after the weekend’s international financial developments.

However, Asian markets still fell early on Monday, despite assurances by the G7 group that they would act to strengthen financial stability.

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ECONOMY

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.

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