Press release 22 December 2015 – 21/2015

Macroprudential decision: FIN-FSA will not impose a countercyclical capital buffer requirement on banks, but will begin preparations for setting higher risk weights on housing loans

The Board of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) has decided not to impose a countercyclical capital buffer requirement on banks, nor to otherwise tighten the macroprudential policy that affects credit cycles. On the basis of an overall assessment, the Board does not see sufficient grounds for such a measure.

‘Growth in household debt has continued despite the weak economic situation,’ says Pentti Hakkarainen, Chairman of the Board. ‘This increases systemic risks, for which we need to prepare by standing ready to set higher risk weights on housing loans in capital adequacy calculations.’

In a potential stress situation, the problems of an indebted household sector would not only lead to direct loan losses but also to indirect effects via consumer behaviour. Links between the financial sector and the real economy could amplify the effects, causing them to become systemic.

The Board of FIN-FSA made its decision upon a proposal by the Director General of FIN-FSA and after consultation with the Bank of Finland, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. All the parties involved were unanimously behind the decision. In accordance with the regulations governing the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the European Central Bank was notified of the decision and offered no objections in the regulated advance consultation.

For further information, please contact

  • Pentti Hakkarainen, Chairman of the Board of the Financial Supervisory Authority, tel. +358 10 831 2002.

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