Hard times changes savings’ culture

  • 2011-11-10
  • From wire reports

RIGA - “It is absolutely clear that we will experience more than just one crisis during the next ten years, which will manifest themselves in various shapes and forms,” Swedbank President in Latvia Maris Mancinskis said, reports Nozare.lv. “Crises come and go. This was certainly not the last one, and there will be more - in Latvia and in the rest of the world. Thus, the question is: which conclusions should we draw and how should we change our activities so as to become more resistant to any crises in the future? One of the approaches is to look for someone to blame for the crisis, another is to look at our own activities to realize what could have been done differently, and learn for tomorrow,” said the bank president.

Mancinskis, who believes that everyone is responsible for their own mistakes, disagrees with the statement that banks acted irresponsibly before the previous crisis. He believes that the banks made mistakes when assessing the macroeconomic situation and paid for them with their considerable losses in 2009 and 2010.

The Swedbank president believes that, from the standpoint of the Latvian economy, it is more important now to think about the future and focus on not repeating the same mistakes. Asked if Latvia’s banks, business community, government and individuals have learned the necessary lessons to protect themselves against future crises, Mancinskis said that some of them have. “However, we should not be naive and hope that everything will be completely different now.”

He recommends the country’s business people and individuals think about their ability to go through the worst case scenario and change, emphasizing that the world is constantly changing. Everything that was useful 10 years ago, including knowledge and experience, may no longer be relevant at the moment.

At the same time, Swedbank’s experience indicates that people are becoming more knowledgeable about financial stability and many of them also want to save. They are more careful with their expenses and investments and want to create a safety cushion for themselves.