Swedish pension giant loses 12 billion kronor from US banks' collapse

TT/The Local
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Swedish pension giant loses 12 billion kronor from US banks' collapse
Alecta's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

The Swedish pension fund manager Alecta has estimated that its combined loss from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank could amount to 12 billion kronor, although it says this will not seriously affect customers' pension holdings.


"There is a lot indicating that we should consider these investments lost," the fund manager's press chief, Jacob Lapidus, told the TT newswire. Alecta also holds shares in First Republic, another US bank which is currently seeing shares in free fall. 

Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority on Monday morning called all of the country's major bank and pension fund managers to a meeting to ascertain their vulnerability to US bank collapses. 


"We are seeing a certain drama and turbulence in the US banking markets," said the authority's acting director general, Susanna Grufman, in a press statement. "Our assessment is however that the stability of the Swedish financial system is not affected by this, because it has a significant amount of resilience." 

Sweden's financial markets minister Niklas Wykman told the TT newswire that the government was watching the situation closely, however. 

"So far we see no spillover effects to either the public sector or the financial system," he said. "But we have to be on our toes and we will be following developments closely."

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a favourite bank to US tech firms and a well-known lender to start-ups, went bust on Friday morning after being hit by a classic bank run, as its clients sought to withdraw $42bn in a single day, a quarter of its deposits. Signature Bank was shut down on Sunday, after suffering a similar bank run on the back of the SVB collapse.

Both banks have now been taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the US agency supplying deposit insurance to depositors in American commercial banks and savings banks. 

Ole Settergren, head of analysis at Sweden's pensions authority, Pensionmyndigheten, said that if there was no contagion to other banks, Sweden's pension holders would not be seriously affected. 

"If this only concerns these banks, then it's nothing which will affect Swedish pension savers who are in the public pension system," he said. "At least if you don't  hold your money in funds which own these banks, and there are certainly some funds like that in the pension system, but it's a very marginal impact." 


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