The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the evolution of the Finnish financial system from a restrictive system based on credit limitations and rationing to an open system which relies on indirect, market-oriented policies. The main beneficiaries are found to be the banks and those that previously had restricted access to bank credit. Two major remaining problems are the anti-savings biases associated with the generous tax treatment of household interest payments and the cartel-like system used in providing tax-free deposits to households. The paper also challenges the argument that the reform caused a loss of monetary autonomy.