Economy and Banking Sector of Sweden

Location Northern Europe
Population (2014)9 644 864 ↑ (+0.01%)
EU Status member since 1995

National Currency SEK (Swedish krona/kronor)
    Exchange Rate (2015-03-27) 1 EUR = 9.3178 SEK
    Nominal GDP (2013)420.1 bln EUR ↑ (+0.03%)
    Nominal GDP per Capita (2013)43 800 EUR ↑ (+0.02%)
    Real GDP Growth (2013)1.5 % ↑ (2012: 0.9 %)
Inflation Rate 
    CPI, MoM (Feb 2015)0.8 % ↑ (Jan 2015: -1.1 %)
    CPI, YoY (Feb 2015)0.7 % ↑ (Jan 2015: 0.4 %)
    CPI, Year Average (2014)0.2 % ↓ (2013: 0.4 %)
Unemployment Rate (2014)7.9 % ↓ (2013: 8.0 %)
Government Bond Yield (Feb 2015)0.62 % ↓ (Jan 2015: 0.78 %)
Credit Ratings (as of Mar 2015)
    Fitch AAAhighest credit quality, outlook stable
    Moody's Aaaprime, outlook stable
    S&P AAAprime
Withholding Tax 0.0 - 30.0%
Double Taxation Agreements 77 signed agreements
Information Exchange 
    Exchange on Request 46 signed agreements
    Automatic Exchange starts in September 2017
Banking Sector
Financial Market Development 5.200 (max 7.000)rank: 12th out of 144 countries
    Banks' Soundness 5.800 (max 7.000) rank: 26th out of 144 countries
Banking Industry Country Risk 2(1 - lowest risk, 10 - highest risk)
    Economy Risk 2
    Industry Risk 3
Deposit Guarantee Scheme 
    Maximum Protected Amount 100 000 EUR
Country Ceiling for Deposits 
    Local Currency (SEK) Aaaprime
    Foreign Currency Aaaprime
Deposit Rates (Jan 2015, SEK)0.61 % ↓ (Dec 2014: 0.62 %)
Banking Sector Structure 
    Number of Banks164
    Recent Changes (2013) new banks: 0, closed banks: 1
    Consolidated Assets (2013) 1 203 bln EUR ↓ (-0.01%)

Major Banks
 Nordea Bank AB (publ)  Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ)
 Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ) (SEB)  Swedbank AB (publ)
List of Banks in Sweden

Swedish Economy

National Currency

Durung the last 10 years EURSEK exchange rate was within the range 8.3362 - 11.4524, reaching its maximum in Feb 2009 and falling to its minimum in Aug 2012.

Euro to Swedish krona/kronor (EURSEK)
Chart 1. Euro to Swedish krona/kronor (EURSEK). Source: ECB.


According to Eurostat, nominal GDP of Sweden in 2013 was 420.1 bln EUR.

Sweden outperforms the European Union in terms of real GDP growth with the average annual differential coming to 1.2% over the past 10 years (2003 - 2013). In 2013 real GDP growth was 1.5% which was above the Euro Area average (-0.5%) and above the European Union average (0.1%). Real GDP growth in 2014 - 2019 are IMF's estimates.

Real GDP Growth in Sweden
Chart 2. Real GDP Growth in Sweden. Source: Eurostat, IMF.

Sweden has a below-average level of wealth in terms of per-capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP); this economic welfare indicator has, on average, fell behind that of the European Union by -6.47% over the past 10 years (2003 - 2013). In 2013, nominal GDP per capita in Sweden was 43 800 EUR.

GDP per capita at PPP in 2014 - 2019 are IMF's estimates.

GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in  Sweden; European Union = 100
Chart 3. GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in Sweden; European Union = 100. Source: Eurostat, IMF.

Inflation Rate

According to Eurostat, inflation rate in Sweden in 2014 expressed as annual percentages of average consumer prices was 0.2% which was below the Euro Area average (0.4%) and below the European Union average (0.6%). Inflation rates in 2015 - 2019 are IMF's estimates.

Inflation Rate in Sweden
Chart 4. Inflation Rate in Sweden. Source: Eurostat, IMF.

Taxation in Sweden

Withholding Tax

Withholding taxes are imposed at source of income and are often applied to dividends, interest, royalties, rent and similar payments. The rates of withholding tax are often reduced by double taxation agreements.

Withholding tax rates applied on payments of interest and dividends in Sweden are shown in Table 1.

Natural person, resident30.030.0
Natural person, non-resident30.00.0
Table 1. Withholding tax rates in Sweden.

Double Taxation Agreements

Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation.

Sweden signed DTAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 1 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Albania Antigua and Barbuda Argentina
 Australia Austria Azerbaijan
 Bangladesh Barbados Belarus
 Belgium Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Botswana Brazil Bulgaria
 Canada Chile China
 Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic
 Egypt Estonia France
 Gambia Germany Greece
 Hungary India Indonesia
 Ireland Israel Italy
 Jamaica Japan Kazakhstan
 Kenya Korea, Republic of Latvia
 Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia
 Malaysia Malta Mauritius
 Mexico Montenegro Namibia
 Netherlands New Zealand Pakistan
 Philippines Poland Portugal
 Romania Russian Federation Serbia
 Singapore Slovakia Slovenia
 South Africa Spain Sri Lanka
 Switzerland Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand
 Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey
 Ukraine United Kingdom United States
 Venezuela Vietnam Zambia

There are also several agreements between Sweden and other jurisdictions which was signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after after 1 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):


Information Exchange

There are 3 ways for jusrisdictions to exchange information on tax matters:

  • spontaneously;
  • on request;
  • automatically.

Spontaneous exchange of information is provision of information that is forseeably relevant to another party without a request being previously sent.

Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil.

Sweden signed TIEAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 1 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):

 Andorra Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda (Jun 2013)
 Aruba Bahamas Bermuda
 British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cook Islands
 Curacao Denmark Faroe Islands
 Finland Gibraltar Greenland
 Guernsey Iceland Isle of Man
 Jersey Liberia Liechtenstein
 Monaco Norway Panama (Dec 2013)
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia (Aug 2013) Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
 Samoa San Marino Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
 Turks and Caicos Islands

There are also several agreements between Sweden and other jurisdictions which was signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after 1 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):

 Bahrain Belize Brunei Darussalam
 Costa Rica Dominica Grenada
 Guatemala Macau Marshall Islands
 Montserrat Niue (Oct 2013) Qatar (Sep 2013)
 Seychelles Uruguay Vanuatu

Automatic information exchange allows jurisdictions to exchange information automatically, without having a specific tax investigation.

Sweden signed the automatic information exchange agreement on 29 October 2014 and committed to start the automatic information exchange in September 2017.

Further Information:
Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts
Countries Which Will Not Automatically Exchange Account Information

Swedish Banking Sector

Financial Market Development

According to World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, financial market development in Sweden is scored 5.200 out of maximum 7.000 and ranked 12th out of 144 analysed economies. Soundness of banks is scored 5.800 bringing Sweden into the 26th place, trustworthiness and confidence of financial market is scored 5.700 (12th place).

Financial Market Development in Sweden
Chart 5. Financial Market Development in Sweden. Source: WEF.

Banking Industry Country Risk

Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) is a methodology designed by Standard&Poor's "to evaluate and compare global banking systems". A BICRA is scored on a scale from 1 to 10, ranging from the lowest-risk banking systems (group 1) to the highest-risk (group 10). The BICRA methodology has two main analytical components: "economic risk" and "industry risk". Each of the components is then further divided into 3 "factors" that result in an economic and industry risk score for each country.

Sweden is included into group '2' with economic risk scored '2' and industry risk scored '3'.

BICRA group2
Economic risk2
    Economic resiliencevery low
    Economic imbalancesintermediate
    Credit risk in the economylow
Industry risk3
    Institutional frameworklow
    Competitive dynamicslow
    Systemwide fundingintermediate
Government support assessmentsupportive
Table 2. BICRA for Sweden. Source: S&P's.

Deposit Guarantee Scheme

Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits held by depositors of a bank that becomes unable to meet its obligations.

From a depositor's point of view it is important to know:

  • if the depositor is eligible within the terms of the deposit guarantee scheme;
  • if the depositor's bank is a participant in the deposit guarantee scheme;
  • if the depositor's type of deposit is covered by the deposit guarantee scheme.

All these details about deposit guarantee scheme in Sweden are summarised in Table 3.

Scheme Participantsall credit institutions operating in Sweden, branches of Swedish banks abroad
Scheme Exemptionsbranches of foreign banks (covered by their home countries)
Eligible Depositorsprivate individuals, companies and other legal entities
Covered Accountsdeposits in all types of accounts
Maximum Protected Amount100 000 EUR
Paid In CurrencyEUR
Table 3. Deposit guarantee scheme in Sweden.

Further Information: Deposit Guarantee Schemes in Europe

Country Ceiling for Deposits

Moody's country ceilings for deposits specify the highest rating that can be assigned to local- or foreign- currency denominated deposit obligations of a bank or other deposit taking institution domiciled within that country.

Local currency (Swedish krona/kronor) deposit ceiling for Sweden is set to Aaa (prime), foreign currency deposit ceiling is Aaa (prime).

Deposit Rates

In Jan 2015, an agreed annualised deposit rate in local currency (Swedish krona/kronor) of new contracts with agreed maturity up to 1 year between credit institutions and households was 0.61%.

Deposit Rates in Sweden
Chart 6. Deposit Rates in Sweden. Source: ECB.

Banking Sector Structure

Currently there are 164 credit institutions operating in Sweden.

Recent structural changes (2013 - 2014) of the banking sector of Sweden are summarised in Table 4.

Number of Opened Banks06
Number of Closed Banks19
Table 4. Recent structural changes in the banking sector of Sweden.

All the credit institutions operating in Sweden can be classified into several categories. Table 5 summarises the number of banks in each category.

CategoryNumber of Banks
Branches of foreign banks29
Central banks1
Savings banks60
Table 5. Number of banks by category in Sweden.

The list of the most recently opened banks in Sweden is provided in Table 6.

There are 29 branches of foreign banks from 11 different countries in Sweden. Table 7 shows 10 countries having the biggest number of branches in Sweden.

Country of OriginNumber of Branches
 United Kingdom8
Table 7. Number of branches of foreign banks in Sweden grouped by country of origin.
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