Net lending as a percentage of disposable income is estimated at 4.3 and 3.7 per cent in 2020 and 2021 respectively, which are the highest levels since 2005.

Infection control measures have been very extensive and have led to a fall in domestic economic activities in several periods during the last two years. One of the effects has been modest consumption development, while public transfers have helped keep disposable income high and generated extraordinarily high surpluses and savings. In turn, savings have generated high financial investment. Bank deposits have seen a particularly large increase in the two-year period, but net securities acquisitions have also increased, and particularly in 2021.

Reduced lending rates and the temporary easing of lending regulations have kept household debt growth up in 2020, but debt growth slowed somewhat in 2021. Interest charges on loans in banks and mortgage companies fell in 2020 and 2021 due to the lowering of lending rates after the key policy interest rate was reduced to zero per cent in spring 2020. The policy rate was however increased again in September 2021, which pushed up lending rates in the banking sector at the end of the year.

Increased market values on listed securities and high net lending have contributed to an unusually large increase in households' net financial assets. The increase is illustrated by the net financial asset income ratio as a percentage of disposable income. The ratio has increased by 15 percentage points in the last two-year period and was estimated at about 95 per cent of disposable income at the end of 2021. This the highest level on record in the entire time series since the fourth quarter of 1996.