HISTORICAL FEATURES OF BANKING IN SCANDINAVIA

Original scientific paper
Autor: Prof Žarko Lazarević PhD

Summary: Historical features of banking in Scandinavian countries are presented at the level of individual states and then in the concluding section, the most fundamental common features of Scandinavian banking are summarised. In terms of its evolutionary characteristics, Scandinavian banking shows two images. On the one side of this diptych are Sweden and Denmark and the three remaining countries, i.e., Norway, Finland and Iceland are on the other. Dense networks of various types of banking institutions were created as early as late 1800s (stock companies, savings banks, credit cooperatives), assuring the catchment of people’s savings and their allocation to investments. From the initial state of great fragmentation, a typical bipolar structure emerged in the process of consolidation and concentration of the banking sector, in which the predominant share of banking market was controlled by only a few banking companies, operating in the entire territories of these states. A diversity of banking and other financial institutions created a competitive environment, precluding the emergence of absolute dominance on the market.

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