Sweden - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing
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Methods of Payment

The Swedish payment and banking systems are highly automated and advanced.  The most common method of international payment is transferred via electronic funds/bank transfer.  Common trade finance methods include document collection, letters of credit, and bank/payment guarantees.  Common terms of sale are payment within 30-90 days after delivery. Please read the Trade Finance Guide for more information about payment methods or other trade finance options.

A U.S. exporter looking to recover debts should contact the Association of Swedish Debt Collectors (www.svenskinkasso.se) for information regarding and contact with debt collecting agencies.

Sweden is one of the countries in the world with the highest level of card payments.  Major credit cards such as VISA and MasterCard are accepted throughout Sweden.  Diner’s Club and American Express may be less acceptable due to the high service charges associated with them.  Mobile payments/banking, contactless cards, payments in real time (such as Swish) and other electronic payment solutions continue to increase in use.

Banking Systems

The Swedish market is made up of four main categories of banks: Swedish commercial banks, foreign banks, savings banks, and co-operative banks.  All the above-mentioned types of banks are - since the amendment of banking legislation in 1969 - entitled to operate in all areas of banking.  In 2022, Sweden had a total of 123 banks.  The three largest Swedish banks are: Swedbank, Svenska Handelsbanken, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). The largest foreign banks in Sweden are Nordea (largest bank in Sweden) and Danske Bank (5th largest bank in Sweden).
In 2022 there were a total of 36 foreign bank branches represented in Sweden, the largest being Nordea, which moved its headquarters from Sweden to Finland in October 2018.  While Sweden is not part of the Eurozone, Swedish commercial banks offer euro-denominated accounts and payment services.
The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) monitors the companies on the Swedish financial market.  Banks and financial institutions are represented by The Swedish Bankers’ Association in Sweden. Both websites provide more information in English about the Swedish financial sector.
In 2014, Sweden entered into the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) agreement with the U.S. For clients identified as “U.S. persons”, Swedish banks are obliged to provide information to the Swedish Tax Agency, who in turn provide the information to the IRS.

Foreign Exchange Controls

Foreign exchange controls are not levied in Sweden. Commercial transactions are, in general, not subject to any restrictions.  There are, however, reporting/declaration requirements when remitting or borrowing funds internationally.

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks

There are numerous U.S. bank branches in Sweden, the majority of them providing corporate services.  These include Bank of America, Citibank Europe, Goldman Sachs Bank Europe, and JP Morgan.

All large Swedish banks have corresponding U.S. banking arrangements. Many Swedish banks also have subsidiaries or branch offices in the United States.

For more information on the banking system please read the section Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment of the Investment Climate Statement.