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Over 140 people came to our inaugural Nordic Bank Capital and Funding Forum, which was held in March at Stockholm’s magnificent Grand Hotel. Our plan had been to create an event that united the Nordic region’s most influential bank treasurers and funding officials with investors, regulators and intermediaries. We were delighted with the attendance on the day, which exceeded all our expectations, and would like to thank all those sponsors, speakers and delegates who helped to ensure it was such a great success.
In the face of fundamental change driven by new regulations, our agenda was designed to take an in-depth look into the capital stack of the region’s banks. To undertake a kind of Nordic bank stress test and to understand how the new rules will affect banks in the region, and how risks will be absorbed in the face of another financial crisis. Our keynote speakers, panels and workshops debated the impact of proposed new Europe-wide regulations that seek to boost bank capital ratios, change the way risk weightings are assessed and provide a pan-European system for bank recovery and resolution.
Many argued the Nordic system should be set apart from the rest of Europe. That these new rules were unnecessary in a region that learned its own lessons back in the 1990s and came away from the financial crisis with its head – and capital ratios - held high. Others, however, took a dimmer view. They worried about the over-reliance of Nordic banks on residential mortgages for their lifeblood. In a rising rate environment, just what damage could a housing crisis in any one of the Nordic nations wreak on the economies of the wider region?
Outside of the mechanics of bank capital, much discussion focused on the likelihood (and necessity) of a successful banking and capital markets union in Europe and just what level of integration was appropriate for the Nordic region. Could we see Sweden join the euro sooner rather than later?
This was our inaugural Nordic Bank Capital event – the first of many, we hope - and we would like to reiterate our profound thanks to all of our sponsors, speakers and delegates for making it such a great success on the day.
Keynote speaker slides are available below: