Mirror, mirror, who is the fairest of them all? Reflections on the design of and risk distribution in the mortgage systems of Denmark and the UK

Pub. Date
05 November, 2014

This paper describes the Danish mortgage system by comparing it with the UK mortgage system. The Danish mortgage system has attracted attention in the literature on the design of mortgage systems. It is a type of narrow banking model where mortgage loans are financed by specialised institutions that issue bonds with cash flows that match that of the mortgage loans. Thereby, the Danish mortgage system outsources many of the risks that are usually kept on the balance sheet of banks to bond investors. Measured in terms of four criteria, the Danish mortgage system performed better during the financial crisis than the UK mortgage system. However, both in Denmark and the UK, alignment of the mortgage and the pension systems could offer significant advantages.