Borg Says Sweden Will Push for Higher Bank Capital Standards

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said the country’s banks should be required to hold more capital than the European Union’s proposed minimum standards.

Borg said in a Bloomberg Television interview today that his nation will continue to seek changes in EU legislation to implement the Basel III global guidelines for bank supervision. The U.K. also wants to hold its banks to a higher standard in hopes of giving them more cushion against financial crises.

“We have already decided to go for higher standards, and our understanding is that we will have room to do that,” Borg said in the interview in Brussels. “But for us it would be very good if we could also see that being supported by our own parliamentary legislative proposals, and therefore we would need to see some further changes” in the EU plan, he said.

Borg declined to comment on why Sweden didn’t participate in today’s coordinated action by the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and others to cut the cost of emergency dollar funding for European banks. “That is a question that should be asked of our central bank,” he said.

The Swedish finance minister repeated his call for Italy and Spain to show commitment to budget improvements. He also said the ECB should be able to join forces with the International Monetary Fund to fight Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, as long as its price stability targets aren’t threatened.

“We see some countries like Netherlands and Finland arguing that the combination of IMF and ECB could be constructive,” Borg said.

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