“The outlook for Nordic banks is stable as operating conditions will remain supportive for banks in 2019 amid robust economic growth”, says Moody’s Investors Service in a report published on the 12th of December. The credit rating agency expects economic growth of 2 to 2.5% across the Nordic region to support loan quality in 2019, and protective features built into banks’ underwriting standards will mitigate the risks posed by high household debt and fast-rising house prices.
“Nordic banks are among the most strongly capitalized in Europe and we expect this to continue to be a key attribute,” said Jean-Francois Tremblay, an Associate Managing Director, at Moody’s. “Most banks have material headroom above their regulatory capital requirements and strong capital generation capacity.”
Large Nordic banks will remain more profitable than most of their European peers, supporting their robust capital levels. The banks are among the most cost-efficient in Moody’s rated universe.
Access to capital markets, an important source of funding for Nordic banks, will remain strong over 2019, although funding costs may rise marginally. Reliance on volatile market funding will be partly mitigated by the wide use of more stable covered bonds.
The report is available to subscribers here: moodys.com.