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Fiscal policy and debt sustainability in the euro area since the COVID-19 pandemic and energy crisis

The revised EU fiscal rules aim to improve primary balances and consequently strengthen the debt sustainability of EU Member States.The sustainability of government debt levels depends on the size of the interest rate-growth differential and primary balances.

Climate change must be fought – what does PACTA say about the transition risks for banks?

The need to rapidly reduce carbon dioxide emissions will adversely impact the operations of many companies, and may make old operations unprofitable. Loan portfolio risks can be assessed by combining company-specific information on technologies and emissions with corporate loan portfolio data.

Risks associated with housing company loans are increasing – Regulatory reforms will restrict use of such loans in the future

The increase in household and investor indebtedness from housing company loans has been a concern to the authorities. Housing company loans still account for a considerable share of the financing for new homes, but new legislation will start to curb the level of debt incurred via housing company loans.

How can Finland’s use of the countercyclical capital buffer requirement be further developed?

In Finland, it should be possible to impose a countercyclical capital buffer requirement on banks before the credit cycle overheats. This would allow the authorities, as necessary, to lower the capital requirements for banks during a crisis situation on a more flexible basis than at present.

Financial sector contingency planning will help ensure continued functioning of society in all circumstances

In 2022, a backup system was put in place for safeguarding daily payments during exceptional situations affecting society. The authorities and the financial sector should continue to enhance their preparedness for coping with severe disruptions in society that threaten the availability of normal banking and financial services.

Finland’s public debt sustainability and fiscal consolidation needs

Finland’s general government revenue and expenditure are chronically out of balance. Population ageing is adding to health and social services spending and at the same time public debt service payments are growing. A fiscal correction will require significant spending cuts and tax increases in future parliamentary terms. The Bank of Finland estimates that the sustainability gap is about 4% of GDP.

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