Nordic bank regulators closer to mortgage rule harmony -Norway

OSLO, April 8 Tue Apr 8, 2014 4:54am EDT

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OSLO, April 8 (Reuters) - Swedish, Danish and Norwegian financial regulators have moved closer to harmonising mortgage requirements for banks operating across borders in the region, Norway's Finance Minister Siv Jensen said on Tuesday.

The rules would force bank subsidiaries in a Nordic countries to set aside capital based on the rules of the host nation in cases when those rules are stricter, rather than on its own domestic regulation.

"I'm very optimistic with regards to an imminent decision on host nation regulations in the Nordics," Jensen said. "Both Danish and Swedish authorities have responded favourably, which indicates that this will soon be in place."

The purpose of harmonising the rules is to level the playing field and prevent banks from basing their foreign business on potentially more favourable requirements intended for their home market.

The region's top banks include Sweden-based Nordea, SEB, Handelsbanken and Swedbank, Norway's DNB and Denmark's Danske Bank. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Camilla Knudsen; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)

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