article / 20 Jan 2023
The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority’s (SFSA’s) prioritized areas of supervision during 2023
Today the Swedish FSA (the SFSA) published its prioritized areas of supervision during 2023. We have summarized them in the following.
The SFSA will review how the financial sector handles a situation where inflation is high, interest rates rise, and downturn of the economy
FI states that during the years with low interest rates, the authority’s measures (such as rules regarding mandatory amortization for individuals and requiring banks to hold more capital for lending to commercial property companies) have contributed to building resilience.
At the same time, the SFSA points out, a greatly reduced willingness to take risks in the economy and in the financial system can threaten financial stability. The authority concludes that it will therefore monitor developments closely during the coming year and is prepared to act if stability is threatened.
The SFSA will review how the downturn in the economy affect consumers
The SFSA will review how banks take care of their customers in a situation where customers’ expenses increase sharply due to inflation and increased interest rates. The question of how banks handle the possibility for vulnerable households to obtain amortisation holiday is one of several issues that the SFSA will, according to the authority, look at during the year.
During the year, the SFSA will also review how consumer credit institutions handle their borrowers.
The SFSA shall also take measures so that more consumers can avoid being deceived through investment fraud.
The SFSA will review how banks and insurance companies prepare themselves to handle and offer basic services
The SFSA writes that the current security environment has increased the understanding of how dependent society is on the functioning of the financial sector, both in everyday life and in times of crisis. The SFSA will together with, among others, the Swedish central bank, work with the financial sector so that companies can offer basic services, such as payments, even if society is hit by a serious crisis or an armed attack. It concerns both banks and insurance companies, but also the companies that are responsible for the financial infrastructure that makes payments possible.
The SFSA will also review the financial companies’ handling of cyber- and IT attacks.
The SFSA will review the risk of green washing in the financial sector
The SFSA writes that the high demand for sustainable products together with the fact that the regulations are still being developed can lead to companies describing their operations and products as more sustainable than they actually are. The SFSA will therefore continue to review the risk of green washing.
The SFSA will also continue to review that financial companies take sufficient account of the type of risks that arise when society transfers to a more fossil-free everyday life.
The SFSA will review how payment service providers work against money laundering
According to the SFSA, the fact that Swedish households make more and more payments digitally and use less and less cash increases the risk of certain companies being used for money laundering. Therefore, according to the information in the press release, the SFSA will continue to review that both companies that offer digital payment solutions as well as cash-intensive companies such as currency exchangers protect themselves against criminals who want to launder money.
The SFSA will also review how financial companies comply with the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.
For further reading (in Swedish): https://fi.se/sv/publicerat/pressmeddelanden/2023/finansinspektionens-prioriteringar-i-tillsynen-2023/