Sweden wants banks in EU to save more
Tough negotiations are expected on Wednesday when finance ministers from the EU try to agree on a higher capital base requirements for banks. The idea with the "Basel III" rules is that by forcing banks to keep more of their own money liquid the financial system will stabilize, writes Swedish Radio News from Luxembourg. But Sweden's tough stance could prompt a conflict.
There is general concern in Europe about the weak position of banks, especially in Spain, and the effect that will have on the economy. At the same time, the EU is trying to make the system more resilient in the face of new crises by forcing the banks to keep more of their own money liquid.
When the EU negotiates a new application of the so-called Basel III rules Sweden has a more extreme position, as Sweden has the third largest banking sector in the EU, in relative terms. The Swedish banks' assets are about four times as big as Sweden's GNP.
According to the EU Commission's proposal, 8,000 European banks will have to keep a primary capital equal to about 7 percent of money lent.
But the Swedish Riksdag wants to go even further and force Swedish banks to keep capital base of 12 percent, starting in 2015.
Today, Sweden with the support of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands will try to block the Commission's proposal. They want the EU to allow individual countries to impose stricter requirements on the countries' own banks, reports Swedish Radio News.