This content is from: Local Insights

Finland

In August a government committee published its report on the proposed reorganization of Finnish government financing institutions.

In its report the committee suggested a merger between four major state-owned financing institutions, Kera, the Finnish Guarantee Board, Finnfund and Fide. The purpose of the suggested merger is to develop the financial services provided to small and medium-size enterprises, thereby encouraging employment, reducing internal competition between the state-owned institutions and removing overlapping functions and operations.

At present Kera is mainly engaged in granting loans and guarantees to small and medium-sized enterprises while the Finnish Guarantee Board grants state and export guarantees to larger export companies. Finnfund finances Finnish companies engaged in projects in developing countries whereas Fide, which was established earlier this year, balances the interest risks of export credits granted by credit institutions. A lively political debate on the committee's report can be expected and it is likely that a merger of the institutions, if it goes ahead, will take at least a year to finalize.

In the wake of of the report's publication, the future of Finnish Export Credit has also come up for discussion. It has been suggested that the agency should be privatized, given that its current operations are equivalent to those of other private credit institutions. Postipankki, a state-owned credit institution also being considered for privatization, has expressed interest in Finnish Export Credit.

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