The government praised the financial industry in this year’s Financial Market Report, but there is still room for improvement. Finansforbundet met on Thursday for a hearing in Parliament’s Finance Committee.
The government advances every year This year’s financial market report for Parliament. The report provides an overview of developments in financial markets and financial market policy. In this year’s report, Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Widom said that the Norwegian economy and financial sector are doing well, especially in difficult times. However, high household debt, high real estate prices and the war in Ukraine leave uncertainty about future economic developments.
Equal competition terms
We at Finansforbundet are pleased that the great importance of the financial industry has been elevated by the government in this year’s Financial Market Report. It is very positive that the government is now in many areas recognizing the important role played by the financial industry. It is critical for the association’s continued work to create the best possible framework conditions for the industry in the future. We need equal competitive conditions to maintain a strong and stable financial industry, says Dag Arne Kristensen of Finansforbundet. They met with union leader Vigdis Matessen and special counsel Ingeborg Friesen, with the Finance Committee on Thursday.
Christensen is particularly pleased that an extended discount is now being offered for small and medium businesses, and that the importance of local banks for regional business is underlined. But there is also room for improvement.
We would like to see the government seize the opportunity to balance the standby requirements between the so-called IRB models and standard-style banks now that the banking package has been proposed to be introduced from June 1. This could have contributed to leveling the playing field in the financial industry.
Requires increased efficiency
In today’s consultations with the Finance Committee, Finansforbundet will once again emphasize how important it is to allocate time and resources to employees and companies in the industry for the continuous development of skills.
The association had previously indicated that an industry program to increase knowledge about sustainability and new risks related to climate and nature could bridge the efficiency gap in the financial sector. In addition, Finansforbundet will ensure that the Norwegian government and parliament include the financial industry in investments in lifelong learning.
In many contexts, Finansforbundet has indicated how much more investment in financial research is necessary. There is a large and growing need for knowledge and competence in the field of sustainability. Therefore, the association proposes to establish a competence center for sustainable finance, climate and nature risks in Norway. It will also be able to contribute to the further dissemination of knowledge, related research, and the development of financial instruments for sustainability purposes. Similar centers or groups already exist in the UK and Sweden.
Create great value
Industry organization Finans Norge is also satisfied with the recognition the government is now giving the financial industry. They believe it is particularly positive that this year’s financial market report is tangible in terms of the significant value that is occurring in the financial industry. In recent years, the industry has contributed to 20-30 percent of the total corporate tax when one ignores the oil industry.
The Financial Market Report is an important document for the Norwegian Parliament to discuss the crucial role of the financial industry for the rest of society, and how together we can facilitate our ability to play our role in the best possible way. Norway is going through a major restructuring process. We will carry out the green transformation. We will digitize it again. All of these central societal tasks must be funded. Adar Kreutzer, CEO of Finans Norge, says the financial industry is essential to solving these tasks.
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