Negative Interest Rates: How Big a Challenge for Large Danish and Swedish Banks?


Rima A Turk

Publication Date:

October 14, 2016

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


Negative policy interest rates have prevailed for some years in Denmark and are a more recent development in Sweden. Among other potential side effects, negative rates could weaken banks’ profitability by reducing net interest income, their main source of earnings. However, an analysis of financial statements at the country rather than the consolidated group level shows that bank margins have been broadly stable. At least to date, lower interest income was offset by reductions in wholesale funding costs and higher fee income. Nonetheless, the impacts on bank health and lending from negative interest rates will need to continue to be monitored closely.


Working Paper No. 2016/198



Publication Date:

October 14, 2016



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