Banks/Banking in Sweden
Banks, insurance companies, financial institutions and mortgage are immense groups on the financial market of Sweden. The other important players are the State administered funds and Mutual fund companies.
The banking companies, savings banks, co-operative banks and foreign banks are the main categories of Swedish banking.
There were 118 banks by 2008 end. However, since early 1990s, the commercial and foreign banks in Sweden are constantly increasing from 15 to 50.
The largest banks in Sweden are Nordea, Swedbank, SEB and Handelsbanken. All these account for 75% of total market. There are smaller banking companies that are Swedish owned having varied structures of ownership such that few are savings banks transformed into banking companies having Swedbank as a part-owner.
The other banking companies are recently established and are considered as niche banks namely, Resura Bank, ICA Banken and Forex Bank.
The savings and co-operative banks are nealy 70 in Sweden and operate in local or regional markets. The co-operative banks are designed for conducting banking business to benefit its members.
Foreign banks in Sweden came into existence in 1986 and were permitted to open branch offices in 1990. By 2008 end, 33 foreign banks were in Sweden and majority targeted the securities market and corporate banking. Danske Bank is the top banks in Sweden and is the 5th largest in Sweden.
The status of banking in Sweden is apparent from the progress such that Swedish commercial banks in 2000, December were 22 comprising of 4 big banks, 9 savings banks, 9 commercial banks and 21 foreign banks. This has now become 30 in 2008, December comprising of 4 big banks, 11 savings banks, 15 commercial banks and 33 foreign banks. The foreign banks in 2000 were 21 with 2 subsidiaries and 19 branches and in 2008 the foreign banks were 33 with 4 subsidiaries and 29 branches.
The commercial banks are Handelsbanken, Nordbanken, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and Foreningssparbanken. The highest internet banking rate is in Sweden and all major banks provide facilities of internet banking. Checks are rarely used and giro is the main transaction form where a document instructs transferring of funds from a bank to another bank electronically.