Swedish banks downplay Latvian threat

A radical proposal to slash Latvian mortgage borrowers' liabilities has focused attention on the exposure Nordic banks have to the Baltic countries. Risk managers at these institutions say they can withstand the pain, but state support might be needed to avert collapse at the weakest member of the group, Swedbank, which has just completed a third round of capital-raising. A spokesman for the bank insists it can stand alone.

Default rates on Latvian mortgages have quadrupled over the past year

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