Sustainable financing is our mission
Kommuninvest’s basic concept and vision includes encouraging social development that is sustainable in the long term. Sustainable financing solutions foster efficient use of tax revenues, financial stability and the local government sector’s work with Agenda 2030. Despite the exceptional corona pandemic conditions, the operations were able to fulfil their mission during the year relatively unaffected.
The municipalities and regions form the backbone of the Swedish welfare state. It is under their management that citizens encounter the most central social services, including healthcare, education and residential care. They also play a central role in the basic social infrastructure, in the form of housing, energy supply, public transport, water/sewerage, etc. Local government actors play a key role in advancing Swedish efforts towards Agenda 2030 and the global goals, in terms of both environmental change and societal issues.
How we generate sustainable values
Kommuninvest plays a similar role for the local government sector as the National Debt Office does for the central government and its authorities. Through lending to municipalities and regions, Kommuninvest establishes conditions for the expansion of Swedish welfare, increases the stability of local government finances and contributes to a more sustainable Sweden. By “pooling” local government borrowing needs and channelling them through a single organisation, economies of scale can be achieved, while keeping management costs down.
As the largest lender to the sector by far, we generate both direct and indirect values. Crucially, the financing solutions and the knowledge and debt management tools we provide benefit financial stability in Swedish municipalities and regions and help develop members’ debt management expertise. Accordingly, essential investments in welfare and sustainability can be made more efficiently and at a lower cost to taxpayers. This strengthens the welfare society by providing new or refurbished homes for the elderly, schools, apartments and healthcare facilities, or various forms of infrastructure such as roads, public transport, energy, water/sewerage.
Covid–19 exerts pressure on local government operations
The corona pandemic exerted severe pressure on the operations of municipalities, with the need to care for the ill and to protect risk groups being the focus in the handling of the pandemic. The pandemic has greatly affected the local government sector’s finances, mainly by causing a heavy burden on health and care services. It has also hampered growth in the tax base and also affected other revenues and expenses.
During 2020, the cooperation that Kommuninvest represents was therefore particularly relevant, helping support the sector in dealing with the challenges it has faced. Throughout the year, Kommuninvest primarily maintained continued access to the capital market and was able to finance municipalities’ and regions’ funding needs on favourable terms. This was of particular importance early in the crisis, when the stressed market situation caused strong pressure from customers.
Normal level of operations generally
Despite the pandemic, Kommuninvest’s own operations could be maintained without significant problems. In mid-March, a decision was made to place the organisation on high alert and operations basically switched entirely to digital platforms, with working from home and digital meetings becoming the new normal, to mitigate operational risks and to help limit contagion.
The transition to digital working methods allowed the operations to develop according to plan. Events formerly held in person, have switched to digital formats, including the Annual General Meeting of the Society, customer seminars, etc. The heightened level of preparedness has also brought an increased frequency of meetings and reporting, with regular “town hall”-meetings with the CEO and the management, for example. Surveys among the employees suggest that internal communications improved over the year.
Continued central role
The welfare assignment for Sweden’s municipalities and regions, and thus the conditions for their long-term economic sustainability is largely a matter of demographic development, with an increasing proportion of younger and older people. In addition, the local government sector still has significant needs for investment. Accordingly, it is still of the utmost importance to have access to favourable financing and efficient debt management support.
Kommuninvest’s ability to maintain the sector’s financing capacity, even in the most troubled times, engenders security and contributes to a high level of trust in the operations.
Kommuninvest is a municipal cooperation for efficient and sustainable financing of housing, infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc. Together, we get better loan terms than each one individually. Since its inception in 1986, the Kommuninvest collaboration has helped lower the local government sector’s borrowing costs by many billion kronor. Currently, 292 municipalities and regions are members of this voluntary cooperation. With total assets in excess of SEK 525 billion, Kommuninvest is the largest lender to the local government sector and the sixth largest credit institution in Sweden. The head office is located in Örebro.