Richest Scandinavians Load Up on Consumer Loans at Record Speed
Norwegians have been loading up on consumer loans at a much faster pace than previously predicted.
In the first comprehensive overview of consumer loans in Norway, the newly established Debt Registry estimates the debt has reached 170 billion kroner ($19 billion), including credit cards. That’s about 45% higher than predicted by the Financial Supervisory Authority in June.
“This has been much awaited to get such an overview and the banks will have a better basis for doing their credit assessment,” the Debt Registry said in an emailed statement.
Consumer loans have been booming in Norway in recent years with the establishment of pure-play consumer lenders such as Bank Norwegian, Easybank and Instabank. The Finance Ministry has since taken steps to curb the surge in household debt growth, including restricting banks through temporary mortgage lending regulations, the establishment of the Debt Registry and consumer loan legislation.
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There are now about 207,000 Norwegians with a “dangerously” high level of consumer loans, the registry said in the statement. Its data includes 25 billion kroner secured through a third party, which are defined as consumer loans by the Finance Ministry.
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Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen said in an interview on Monday that the central bank has “expressed concern” over the high level of consumer debt in Norway, but he hadn’t yet reviewed the latest data from the registry. “Even though the share of debt as a whole isn’t very high, the interest expenses are correspondingly higher,” Olsen said.
E24 reported the news on the statistics earlier.
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