Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sweden’s War on Cash Runs Into a Wall–and a Heroic Bank

By Joseph Salerno

The war on cash in Sweden may be stalling.  The anti-cash movement has been  vigorously promoted by major Swedish commercial banks as well as the Riksbank, the Swedish central bank.  In fact, for  three of the four major Swedish banks combined, 530 of their 780 office no longer accept or pay out cash.   In the case of the Nordea Bank, 200 of its 300 branches are now cashless, and three-quarters of Swedbank’s branches no longer handle cash.   As Peter Borsos, a spokesman for Swedbank, freely admits, his bank is working “actively to reduce the [amount] of cash in society.”   The reasons for this push toward a cashless society, of course, have nothing to do with pumping up earnings from bank card fees or, more important, freeing fractional-reserve banks from the constraints of bank runs.  No, according to Borsos, the reasons are the environment, cost, and security:  ”We ourselves emit 700 tons of carbon dioxide by cash transport. It costs society 11 billion per year. And cash helps robberies everywhere.”  Hans Jacobson, head of Nordea Bank, argues similarly:  ”Our mission is to make people understand the point of cards, cards are more secure than cash.”

Fortunately, it seems that the Swedish people are not falling for the anti-cash propaganda spewed by private bankers  and Riksbank officials and are resisting the trend toward a cashless economy.

Read the rest here.

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