Ansvarsfördelningen mellan Riksbanken och Finansinspektionen avseende finansiell stabilitet
Sammanfattning: The financial system plays a central role in the economy. In particular banks play a key role in the allocation of financial resources and occupies a central position in the payment mechanism for households, businesses and governments. Disruptions in individual financial institutions can quickly spread to other institutions and to the financial system as a whole. A crisis can further quickly erase confidence in the entire financial system, something which the recent financial crisis showed can have disastrous consequences for a country's economy. When a crisis occurs, it is of fundamental importance that the responsible authorities can act quickly to minimize the crisis. A well-established system for financial stability and crisis management is therefore necessary. In Sweden, responsibility for financial stability is divided between the central bank, Riksbanken, and the Swedish financial services authority, Finansinspektionen (FI).
The Riksbank is responsible for the overall stability of the financial system as a whole. This responsibility includes investigating and analyzing factors and behaviours which can lead to systemic risk. The Riksbank's responsibility for financial stability comes from the task of promoting a safe and efficient payment system, which is done both through its operational role in the payment system as well as through supervision of the financial system as a whole. Given the central role that banks play in the payment system, the main focus of the Riksbank’s surveillance and analyses is the banking system. While the Riksbank has the overall responsibility for the stability of the financial system as a whole, the FI is responsible for the prudential supervision of individual institutions. That task is however also considered to include a responsibility for financial stability. The FI further issues licenses for financial institutions and have the right to impose sanctions against the institutions supervised as well as serving as a financial regulator. The means through which the authorities fulfil their tasks for financial stability differ. While the FI has a wide set of tools, such as regulation and sanctions, the Riksbank primarily has to rely on moral suasion and dialogue with financial market participants. Since 2003, there exists a Memorandum of Understanding between the authorities with the objective of clarifying their responsibilities and cooperation.
The current division of responsibility is a result of the banking crisis that hit Sweden in the early 1990s. Since then, the work has continuously evolved and cooperation between authorities has been extended. Despite this, the authorities were not able to prevent the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Once the crisis was a fact there was great uncertainty about which agency was responsible, which further delayed crisis management. The fact that both the Riksbank and the FI failed to prevent the crisis is obviously a failure. There are therefore strong reasons to examine where the division of responsibility has failed.
This thesis has for this purpose identified a number of areas in which improvement needs to be done. The analysis presented concludes that the division of responsibility needs to be more thoroughly specified and that cooperation between the authorities needs to be given a more formal nature. The Riksbank should be given more explicit responsibilities for financial stability as well as stronger tools for crisis prevention. The financial supervision needs to shift focus from the micro-prudential supervision of today to a macro-prudential approach which would focus more on system stability and the emergence of systemic risk. A redistribution of the FI’s resources is thus required. The possibility of placing the supervision within the Riksbank is discussed, with the conclusion that, although there are clear advantages to this model, there are several problems, not at least constitutional, which need to be examined further before any changes to the current structure are made.
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