Nordic economies have rebounded sharply this year with Sweden back above pre-pandemic levels, stoking consumer spending and demand for financial services and lifting shares in the region's banking stocks.
Meanwhile, soaring energy prices and component shortages amid the recovery have also played a part in rekindling long-dormant inflation, potentially shifting the zero interest rate environment for banks and their customers.
Sweden's oldest retail bank said in a statement its quarterly net profit rose to 5.50 billion Swedish crowns ($639.91 million) from 5.26 billion crowns a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations of 5.10 billion crowns in a Refinitiv poll. [L8N2RF167]
"The quarter has been characterized by a gradual return to the new normal," Swedbank Chief Executive Jens Henriksson told reporters. "We see a strong recovery, not least in Sweden."
Swedbank said commission income rose to 3.80 billion crowns from 3.25 billion crowns a year earlier while interest income, which includes income from mortgages, dipped to 6.59 billion crowns from 6.71 billion crowns a year earlier.
Swedbank, largely unscathed by COVID-19 and cash-rich after pandemic curbs on shareholder payouts, reported in October it planned to pay 7.30 Swedish crowns per share dividend relating to 2019 and 2020. [L8N2QX114]
($1 = 8.5949 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Johan Ahlander and Krishna Chandra Eluri)