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Sweden’s regulator worried by Trump deregulation plan

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US president Donald Trump’s plan to reduce financial sector regulation is worrying and could even pose risks for Sweden, according to the head of the country’s financial regulator.

Erik Thedéen, director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, told Swedish business daily Dagens Industri: “It is surprising that someone is prepared to make such big changes barely 10 years after the very deep financial crisis.”

It was crucial to have a global foundation network for financial regulation, he said.

“Should the US as a dominant player choose a completely different line, in the long run, it could affect Sweden and stability,” Thedéen said.

He said that for Sweden, which has a large financial system relative to the economy, international agreements on banking, insurance, and securities were crucial.

Thedéen was in Washington and New York last week to meet representatives of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Reserve, and the International Monetary Fund.

US draft legislation in the form of the Financial Choice Act was presented to the House of Representatives at the end of April by Republican congressman Jeb Hensarling.

The proposal aimed to re-write the Dodd-Frank Law, a wide-ranging set of rules for the American banking system introduced following the last financial crisis. The proposal was also designed to free up access to capital markets for small businesses.

However, it has attracted criticism for removing rules that protect consumers and shareholders.

“The picture that emerges is that they want to circumscribe the American authorities with more restrictions,” Thedéen said. “This will reduce their room for manoeuvre in international negotiations.”

Thedéen also expressed concern that the US would make big changes to how banks dealt with crises.

“It is a lesson from the financial crisis that you must have orderly management of banks in crisis,” he said.

Thedéen said there was a lot of uncertainty about what would materialise from the draft legislation, and about the key positions in the state apparatus.

“My impression is that the US will reduce its commitment internationally, but the question is how much,” he concluded.

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