Finnish financial services newsletter May 2020Dear reader,This newsletter brings you topical news from the Finnish financial sector. It has been compiled by Finance Finland (FFI), the representative of banks, insurance companies, employee pension insurers, finance houses and securities dealers operating in Finland.The ongoing pandemic has tested everyone. The Finnish financial sector has nevertheless shown its ability to perform well in a crisis. The services provided by the sector are essential to keep the wheels of society and the economy turning, and during the coronavirus pandemic, these services have been more valuable than ever. Their reliability is also strong: the sector’s highly digitised infrastructure has operated without interruption despite the increased load. Already familiar with online service channels, Finnish customers have not had major difficulties with the increased use of remote services.The coronavirus crisis has struck some countries harder than others. Finland has been one of the more fortunate ones, allowing us to avoid the stricter restrictions on movement and use of services. Finns are also a fairly conscientious people. While authorities have responded differently in different countries, European countries also differ in the organisation and capacity of their healthcare and social security. Financial sector products and services, such as insurance policies, are designed to supplement this social cover. In addition to capital adequacy regulation, the sector naturally needs to adhere to contract law and the terms and conditions of contracts, which also differ substantially between countries and individual products.This newsletter includes the Finnish banking sector’s public declaration on its commitment to helping households and companies through the coronavirus crisis, with concrete examples on the measures taken and services offered.As financial sector entities are also important institutional investors, their actions carry great significance in supporting sustainable economic recovery. For example, Finnish employee pension insurers, as major investors in rental properties, have offered more flexible arrangements to their tenants. Employee pension insurers have also together agreed to defer employers’ contribution payments as necessary.The Finnish financial sector is working together with the government and the authorities to carry Finland’s economy and national well-being safely through the coronavirus crisis. The close partnership of the Finnish public and private sectors shows its strength in these unusual times.