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  • 1 0000000404811396https://isni.org/isni/0000000404811396International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This study examines the banking crises in Finland, Norway and Sweden, which took place in the early 1990s, and draws some policy conclusions from their experiences. One key conclusion is that factors in addition to business cycle effects explain the Nordic countries financial problems. Although the timing of the deregulation in all three countries coincided with a strongly expansionary macroeconomic momentum, the main reasons for the banking crises were the delayed policy responses, the structural characteristics of the financial systems, and the banks inadequate internal risk-management controls.

References

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  • Aranko, Jorma, 1994, “Reorganization of Financial Market Supervision in Finland,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Special Issue (Finland), pp.3640.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bank for International Settlements, 1996, Annual Report (Basle, Switzerland).

  • Bank Support Authority, 1993, Annual Review July 1, 1993–June 30, 1994, Sweden.

  • Berg, Sigbjorn Atle, Finn R. Forsund, and Eilev S. Jansen, 1992, “Malmquist Indices of Productivity Growth During the Deregulation of Norwegian Banking, 1980–89,” Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol.94 (Supplement), pp.S21128.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berg, Sigbjorn Atle, and others, 1993, “Banking Efficiency in the Nordic Countries,” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol.17 (April) pp.37188.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Biljer, Marianne, 1991, “Finance Companies: Structural Changes,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank, No.3, pp.513.

  • Bisat, Amer, R. Barry Johnston, and V. Sundararajan 1992, “Issues in Managing and Sequencing Financial Sector Reforms: Lessons from Experiences in Five Developing Countries,” IMF Working Paper 92/82 Washington (International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brunila, Anne, and Kari Takala, 1993, “Private Indebtedness and the Banking Crisis in Finland,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper 9/93 (Helsinki: Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Calvo, Guillermo A., 1988, “Servicing the Public Dept: The Role of Expectations,” American Economic Review, Vol.78 (September) pp.64761.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Commission on the Banking Crisis, 1992, Norwegian Official Reports No.30E, Oslo Government Printing Service (Norway).

  • Cottarelli, Carlo, and Angeliki Kourelis, 1994, “Financial Structure, Bank Lending Rates, and the Transmission Mechanism of Monetary Policy,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.41 (December) pp.587623.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cottarelli, Carlo, Giovanni Ferri, and Andrea Generale, 1995, “Bank Lending Rates and Financial Structure in Italy,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.42 (September) pp.670700.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dahleim, Bo, Goran Lind, and Anna-Karin Nedersjo, 1993, “The Banking Sector in 1992,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden) Vol.2 June pp.2436.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Davis, E. Philip, 1995, “Financial Fragility in the Early 1990s: What Can Be Learned from International Experience?Special Paper Series (London London School of Economics and Political Science).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Englund, Peter, 1990, “Financial Deregulation in Sweden,” European Economic Review, Vol.34 (May) pp.38593.

  • Fries, Steven M., 1993, “Japanese Banks and the Asset ‘Price Bubble’,” IMF Working Paper 93/85 (Washington International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Furlong, Frederick T., and Michael C. Keeley, 1989, “Capital Regulation and Risk Taking: A Note,” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol.13 (December) pp.88391.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldstein, Morris, and others 1993 International Capital Markets, Part II: Systemic Issues in International Finance, World Economic and Financial Surveys Washington (International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gottfries, Nils, Christian B. Nilsson, and Kerstin Ohlsson, 1992, “Has Swedish Monetary Policy Been Counter-cyclical?Sveriges Riksbank Working Paper No.7(Sweden Sveriges Riksbank June).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gottfries, Nils, Torsten Persson, and Edward Palmer 1989, “Regulation, Financial Buffer Stocks, and Short-Run Adjustment: An Econometric Case Study of Sweden, 1970–82,” European Economic Review, Vol.33 (July) pp.1546565.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guttentag, Jack M., and Richard J. Herring, 1986, “Disaster Myopia in International Banking,” Essays in International Finance No.164 (Princeton, New Jersey Princeton University).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hubbard, Glenn, ed., 1991, “Financial Markets and Financial Crises” (Chicago. University of Chicago Press).

  • Ingves, Stefan, and Göran Lind, 1996, “The Management of the Bank Crisis in Retrospect,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden) No.1pp.518.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Monetary Fund, 1996, “Norway—Background Paper,” IMF Staff Country Report, No.96/15 (Washington).

  • Jonung, Lars, 1986, “Financial Deregulation in Sweden,” Quarterly Review, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Vol.4 (December) pp.10919.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jonung, Lars, Hans Tson Soderstrom, Joakim Stymne, 1994, “Depression in the North: Boom and Bust in Sweden and Finland, 1985–93,” IMF Seminar Series, No.1994-47 (Washington International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keeley, Michael C., 1990, “Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking,” American Economic Review, Vol.80 (December) pp.1183200.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koskenkylä, Heikki, 1994, “The Nordic Banking Crisis,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Vol.68 (August) pp.1522.

  • Koskenkylä, Heikki, Jukka Vesala, 1994, “Finnish Deposit Banks 1980–1993: Years of Rapid Growth and Crisis,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper, No.16/94 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lehmussaari, Olli-Pekka, 1990, “Deregulation and Consumption: Saving Dynamics in the Nordic Countries,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.37 (March) pp.7193.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Llewellyn, David T., 1992, “The Performance of Banks in the U.K. and Scandinavia: A Case Study in Competition and Deregulation,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden)Vol.3 (September) pp.2030.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lind, Göran, and Anna-Karin Nedersjo 1994The Banking Sector in 1993,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riks-bank (Sweden)Vol.2 (June) pp.2435.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Malkamäki, Markku, and Jukka Vesala, 1996, “Finnish Financial Markets: Major Trends and International Comparisons,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Special Issue (Helsinki Bank of Finland) pp.521.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Minsky, Hyman P., 1977, “A Theory of Systematic Fragility,” Financial Crises: Institutions and Markets in a Fragile Environment,ed. by Edward I. Altman and Arnold W. Sametz (New York).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nyberg, Peter, 1994, “Decision on the Restructuring of the Savings Bank Sector,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Vol.68, No.1, pp.57.

  • Nyberg, Peter, Vesa Vihriälä, 1994, “Finnish Banking Crisis and Its Handling,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper, 7/94 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1995, Economic Surveys: Norway (Paris).

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bank Profitability, various issues (Paris).

  • Pazarbaşioğlu, Ceyla, 1997, “A Credit Crunch? Finland in the Aftermath of the Banking Crisis,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.44 (September) pp.31527.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pensala, Johanna, and Heikki Solttila, 1993, “Banks’ Non-performing Assets and Write-Offs in 1992,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper 10/93 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Persson, Torsten, and Guido Tabellini, 1990, Macroeconomic Policy, Credibility, and Politics (New York Harwood Academic Publishers).

  • Schuijer, Jan 1992, Banks Under Stress (Paris Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

  • Shrieves, Ronald E., Drew Dahl, 1992, “The Relationship Between Risk and Capital in Commercial Banks,” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol.16 (April) pp.43957.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Solttila, Heikki, and Vesa Vihriälä 1994, “Finnish Banks’ Problem Assets: Result of Unfortunate Asset Structure or Too Rapid Growth?Bank of Finland Discussion Paper 23/94 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stiglitz, Joseph E. 1993, The Role of the State in Financial Markets (Washington World Bank).

  • Sundararajan, V., and Tomás Baliño, 1991, “Issues in Recent Banking Crises,” Banking Crises: Cases and Issues, ed. by V. Sundararajan and T. J. T. Baliño, (Washington International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Riksbank Sveriges 1992, Quarterly Review (Stockholm Central Bank of Sweden).

  • White, Lawrence J. 1991, The S&L Debacle (New York Oxford University Press).

  • Wilse, Hans Petter, 1995, “Management of the Banking Crisis and State Ownership of Commercial Banks,” Norges Bank, Economic Bulletin, No.2 (Norway).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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Pitfalls in Financial Liberalization: Pitfalls in Financial Liberalization
  • Abrams, Richard K., 1988, “The Financial Reform in Finland,” IMF Working Paper 88/89 (Washington International Monetary Fund).

  • Aranko, Jorma, 1994, “Reorganization of Financial Market Supervision in Finland,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Special Issue (Finland), pp.3640.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bank for International Settlements, 1996, Annual Report (Basle, Switzerland).

  • Bank Support Authority, 1993, Annual Review July 1, 1993–June 30, 1994, Sweden.

  • Berg, Sigbjorn Atle, Finn R. Forsund, and Eilev S. Jansen, 1992, “Malmquist Indices of Productivity Growth During the Deregulation of Norwegian Banking, 1980–89,” Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol.94 (Supplement), pp.S21128.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berg, Sigbjorn Atle, and others, 1993, “Banking Efficiency in the Nordic Countries,” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol.17 (April) pp.37188.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Biljer, Marianne, 1991, “Finance Companies: Structural Changes,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank, No.3, pp.513.

  • Bisat, Amer, R. Barry Johnston, and V. Sundararajan 1992, “Issues in Managing and Sequencing Financial Sector Reforms: Lessons from Experiences in Five Developing Countries,” IMF Working Paper 92/82 Washington (International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brunila, Anne, and Kari Takala, 1993, “Private Indebtedness and the Banking Crisis in Finland,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper 9/93 (Helsinki: Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Calvo, Guillermo A., 1988, “Servicing the Public Dept: The Role of Expectations,” American Economic Review, Vol.78 (September) pp.64761.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Commission on the Banking Crisis, 1992, Norwegian Official Reports No.30E, Oslo Government Printing Service (Norway).

  • Cottarelli, Carlo, and Angeliki Kourelis, 1994, “Financial Structure, Bank Lending Rates, and the Transmission Mechanism of Monetary Policy,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.41 (December) pp.587623.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cottarelli, Carlo, Giovanni Ferri, and Andrea Generale, 1995, “Bank Lending Rates and Financial Structure in Italy,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.42 (September) pp.670700.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dahleim, Bo, Goran Lind, and Anna-Karin Nedersjo, 1993, “The Banking Sector in 1992,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden) Vol.2 June pp.2436.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Davis, E. Philip, 1995, “Financial Fragility in the Early 1990s: What Can Be Learned from International Experience?Special Paper Series (London London School of Economics and Political Science).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Englund, Peter, 1990, “Financial Deregulation in Sweden,” European Economic Review, Vol.34 (May) pp.38593.

  • Fries, Steven M., 1993, “Japanese Banks and the Asset ‘Price Bubble’,” IMF Working Paper 93/85 (Washington International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Furlong, Frederick T., and Michael C. Keeley, 1989, “Capital Regulation and Risk Taking: A Note,” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol.13 (December) pp.88391.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldstein, Morris, and others 1993 International Capital Markets, Part II: Systemic Issues in International Finance, World Economic and Financial Surveys Washington (International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gottfries, Nils, Christian B. Nilsson, and Kerstin Ohlsson, 1992, “Has Swedish Monetary Policy Been Counter-cyclical?Sveriges Riksbank Working Paper No.7(Sweden Sveriges Riksbank June).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gottfries, Nils, Torsten Persson, and Edward Palmer 1989, “Regulation, Financial Buffer Stocks, and Short-Run Adjustment: An Econometric Case Study of Sweden, 1970–82,” European Economic Review, Vol.33 (July) pp.1546565.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guttentag, Jack M., and Richard J. Herring, 1986, “Disaster Myopia in International Banking,” Essays in International Finance No.164 (Princeton, New Jersey Princeton University).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hubbard, Glenn, ed., 1991, “Financial Markets and Financial Crises” (Chicago. University of Chicago Press).

  • Ingves, Stefan, and Göran Lind, 1996, “The Management of the Bank Crisis in Retrospect,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden) No.1pp.518.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Monetary Fund, 1996, “Norway—Background Paper,” IMF Staff Country Report, No.96/15 (Washington).

  • Jonung, Lars, 1986, “Financial Deregulation in Sweden,” Quarterly Review, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Vol.4 (December) pp.10919.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jonung, Lars, Hans Tson Soderstrom, Joakim Stymne, 1994, “Depression in the North: Boom and Bust in Sweden and Finland, 1985–93,” IMF Seminar Series, No.1994-47 (Washington International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keeley, Michael C., 1990, “Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking,” American Economic Review, Vol.80 (December) pp.1183200.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koskenkylä, Heikki, 1994, “The Nordic Banking Crisis,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Vol.68 (August) pp.1522.

  • Koskenkylä, Heikki, Jukka Vesala, 1994, “Finnish Deposit Banks 1980–1993: Years of Rapid Growth and Crisis,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper, No.16/94 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lehmussaari, Olli-Pekka, 1990, “Deregulation and Consumption: Saving Dynamics in the Nordic Countries,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.37 (March) pp.7193.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Llewellyn, David T., 1992, “The Performance of Banks in the U.K. and Scandinavia: A Case Study in Competition and Deregulation,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden)Vol.3 (September) pp.2030.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lind, Göran, and Anna-Karin Nedersjo 1994The Banking Sector in 1993,” Quarterly Review, Sveriges Riks-bank (Sweden)Vol.2 (June) pp.2435.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Malkamäki, Markku, and Jukka Vesala, 1996, “Finnish Financial Markets: Major Trends and International Comparisons,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Special Issue (Helsinki Bank of Finland) pp.521.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Minsky, Hyman P., 1977, “A Theory of Systematic Fragility,” Financial Crises: Institutions and Markets in a Fragile Environment,ed. by Edward I. Altman and Arnold W. Sametz (New York).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nyberg, Peter, 1994, “Decision on the Restructuring of the Savings Bank Sector,” Bank of Finland Bulletin, Vol.68, No.1, pp.57.

  • Nyberg, Peter, Vesa Vihriälä, 1994, “Finnish Banking Crisis and Its Handling,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper, 7/94 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1995, Economic Surveys: Norway (Paris).

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bank Profitability, various issues (Paris).

  • Pazarbaşioğlu, Ceyla, 1997, “A Credit Crunch? Finland in the Aftermath of the Banking Crisis,” Staff Papers, International Monetary Fund, Vol.44 (September) pp.31527.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pensala, Johanna, and Heikki Solttila, 1993, “Banks’ Non-performing Assets and Write-Offs in 1992,” Bank of Finland Discussion Paper 10/93 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Persson, Torsten, and Guido Tabellini, 1990, Macroeconomic Policy, Credibility, and Politics (New York Harwood Academic Publishers).

  • Schuijer, Jan 1992, Banks Under Stress (Paris Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

  • Shrieves, Ronald E., Drew Dahl, 1992, “The Relationship Between Risk and Capital in Commercial Banks,” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol.16 (April) pp.43957.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Solttila, Heikki, and Vesa Vihriälä 1994, “Finnish Banks’ Problem Assets: Result of Unfortunate Asset Structure or Too Rapid Growth?Bank of Finland Discussion Paper 23/94 (Helsinki Bank of Finland).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stiglitz, Joseph E. 1993, The Role of the State in Financial Markets (Washington World Bank).

  • Sundararajan, V., and Tomás Baliño, 1991, “Issues in Recent Banking Crises,” Banking Crises: Cases and Issues, ed. by V. Sundararajan and T. J. T. Baliño, (Washington International Monetary Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Riksbank Sveriges 1992, Quarterly Review (Stockholm Central Bank of Sweden).

  • White, Lawrence J. 1991, The S&L Debacle (New York Oxford University Press).

  • Wilse, Hans Petter, 1995, “Management of the Banking Crisis and State Ownership of Commercial Banks,” Norges Bank, Economic Bulletin, No.2 (Norway).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation