the Stores are almost empty, the hairdressers has closed, restaurantkjøkkenene is quiet and the missions drying up for businesses. Measures to combat the spread of koronaviruset do that business bleeds and people permitteres in rich abundance.

In the center of it all stands the banks have lent out enormous sums to businesses and housing. Banks can help those who are struggling, at the same time that they run the risk of a large loss even. The ceo of DNB, Kjerstin First, says to NRK that we are faced with a situation we’ve never seen before.

– I do not think we will not return to the same world we left before the korona.

SILENT: Large parts of the Norwegian economy is put on hold to prevent infection. On Norwegian airports, nine out of ten passengers away, figures from Avinor. How hard the Norwegian economy is affected depends on how long this situation will last, ” says the First.

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix Waiting bankruptcies

Reduced operation of the Norwegian district courts do that there are no figures on how many businesses have gone bust the last few weeks. But we have to wait more bankruptcies to come, ” says the First.

– How many bankruptcies it’s going to be, I think depends primarily on two things: one is how long the government will continue to shut down to prevent contamination. The other is how well the various measures initiated will work.

When companies go bankrupt or people unable to pay the loans sit banks left with a large part of the losses for loans that are never paid. DNB says that their lending reflects the entire Norwegian economy.

– We can not comment on the losses above and beyond to say that it is natural to say that the risk increases, and that it’s going to be more losses.

She draws especially forward that tourism, tourism and the hotel industry is in a difficult situation.

But also the supplier industry, which was vulnerable after the previous downturn, is in a difficult position. They get a oljeprisfall in addition to koronakrisen.


An important reason why Norges Bank has cut interest rates by 1.25 per cent in the last few weeks, to ease lånebyrden for businesses that are struggling and the people who lose revenue. The banks got a lot of pepper in order to not take its share of the national dugnaden by setting the interest rate down too little and too late.

DNB precipitated after a few days rentekuttet to the customers by almost a month. On the question whether she will grumble that they do not put down the interest rates before, she says that the most important thing was that they did about it.

This was far more important than we thought the day the decisions were made. What we experienced with the customers we talked with, was that it was more important with the measures that avdragsutsettelse, ” she says.

Unclear if new interest rate cuts

the First adds that DNB borrow money in the global capital markets, not directly from the central Bank. The last few weeks have markedsrentene fallen further. If it will give cheaper loans, she can’t comment.

The most important thing for us to say is that we are keen to have competitive prices to our customers.

DNB-the boss does not think it is likely that massepermitteringene and increased unemployment mean that many will lose the accommodation.

– With the very good welfare system in Norway is the vast majority cope very well.

Disputed dividends

the Banks have an important role to help businesses and people through the crisis we are in, has been the mantra from the authorities. At the same time, banks – and especially DNB – received criticism for holding back on rate cuts and at the same time keep the door ajar for a dividend to shareholders.

financial supervisory authority of norway has recommended that banks shall not grant a dividend to 2019, to ensure that banks will have more money in the face of crisis. The government argued nonetheless that the banks will pay dividends, if they even want it.

DNB has proposed to give the shareholders a dividend of nok 14 billion. The largest shareholder is the state, which owns 34 per cent of the shares.

the First will not say anything about they will withhold dividends for 2019.

– Utbytteforslaget located on the board’s table. And so it is correct to say that the decision stems from a time that is so different. In the aftermath, the board has gone out and shown to a recognition that in the situation we now stand in, so it is very important to help most of our customers.


to prevent that flow of money dries up for small and medium-sized enterprises, the government has given a state lånegaranti for bank loans with a frame of 50 billion.

– The measures which will be put in the works now to hit, other things being equal, businesses that are viable over time. It is one of the important considerations we must make when we distribute the loans under the lånegarantiordningen.

So far the Norwegian government has spat in the faces of almost 400 billion into the economy. Several economists have in recent years criticized for the large public spending, which they believe displaces private sector.

the First says that it is important and proper to spend a lot of money now.

– It is put in place many good initiatives in oslo and it worked with several. We believe these are important factors that contribute to that we will get better through this than many other european countries.

the Radio økonomikommentator Cecilie Langum Becker explains rentekuttene. You need javascript to see the video.

the Radio økonomikommentator Cecilie Langum Becker explains rentekuttene.