Government proposes new debt register

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As household debt continues to climb in Norway, the conservative government is reviving a plan it once rejected to register consumer loans and credit card debt. They’re opting for a private register, though, not a public one like the one proposed three years ago by the former left-center government.

Consumer debt in Norway is now believed to total around NOK 100 billion, and the state financial authority Finanstilsynet claims it’s rising at a rate of nearly 10 percent annually.

Solveig Horne, the government minister in charge of consumer issues, has now sent a proposal for a private register out to hearing. The goal is to make it more difficult to borrow from many lenders who currently have no means of checking how much debt a potential customer may already have, if loans recently have been taken up.

“High debt, especially consumer debt, can create a lot of problems for those taking it on,” Horne said. “I expect lenders to set up a debt register as soon as a law allowing one is in place, and that they assume more responsibility, so that fewer consumers will land in debt problems.” staff