Andersson disappointed

Social Democratic Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said she was disappointed to hear the news of Nordea’s move to Finland but saw no reason to review government policy. The government has a responsibility to ensure financial stability and provide a sound environment for companies, she commented, pointing out that Nordea had posted a profit of SEK 40 billion in 2016.

Green Financial Markets Minister Per Bolund said there was broad political unity in Sweden not to join the banking union for the time being. However, the government had now decided to analyse the advantages and disadvantages of Swedish membership.

Ulf Kristersson, the Moderate economic policy spokesman, commented that the government, with its plans for extra regulation and a bank tax, had “undermined confidence that Sweden is a country with stable long-term regulation”.

Few in parliament own shares

Only 32 of a total 362 politicians have declared shareholdings in listed companies, according to an excerpt from the Riksdag’s financial register. Joakim Bornold, from Nordnet, is surprised about the low figure.

H&M is the big favourite among those politicians who do hold shares. Sharing second place are SAS and the investment company Kinnevik. Furthermore a majority of shareholding politicians are alliance politicians while not a single Left Party politician holds shares.

Only one party leader, Jan Björklund has reported any holdings. The Liberal leader has invested in the bank SEB and in a Sweden fund.

Finance ministerial candidate Oscar Sjöstedt (SD) owns shares in the prospecting company Africa Oil, which Joakim Bornold considers to be controversial. “Africa Oil has, to say the least, a turbulent history and is a company that has been called into question a good deal, which means it is surprising that it turns up in a portfolio of this kind of politician.”

“Politicians have failed”

Carola Lemne, the head of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv), is appalled over Donald Trump’s victory and his “arch-conservative” administration. She believes there are lessons are to be drawn from the populist wave that is sweeping across the world; that is to say politicians have failed to tackle society’s problems.

Lemne is particularly critical of Magdalena Andersson, who she describes as a “tax minister” rather than a finance minister.

Meanwhile, a fresh poll from Nordic Pa Research has shown that voters have more confidence in business leaders than party leaders, and that Sweden Democratic leader Jimmie Åkesson understands the situation of voters best. This would suggest there is widespread scepticism of the established parties and their leaders.