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Published: 7 May 2013

Credit card sales grew and bad card debts decreased in 2012

Corrected on 7 May 2013 at 12.00. The correction is indicated in red. Was previously billion.

In 2012, the value of sales charged on domestic credit cards amounted to EUR 8.9 billion in Finland. The sales increased by 8 per cent from the previous year. Retail shops accounted for the largest share and service stations for the second largest share of the card sales. Cash withdrawals and bank transfers made on domestic credit cards in Finland fell by good 5 per cent to EUR 1.2 billion. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s Financial intermediation statistics.

Credit card sales in 2011 and 2012, EUR million

  2011 2012 Change %
Sales to domestic credit cards in Finland 8 305 8 910 8,0
Sales to domestic credit cards abroad 1 984 2 217 11,8
Sales to foreign credit cards in Finland 1 406 1 996 42,0

Purchases made with Finnish credit cards abroad amounted to EUR 2.2 billion and cash withdrawals abroad totalled EUR 224 million . Foreign cards were used in Finland to the value of EUR 2.2 billion, of which 2.0 billion were purchases and the rest cash withdrawals.

There were 3.4 million active credit card accounts in Finland in 2012. The number of active card accounts increased by one per cent from the previous year. Eleven per cent of the card accounts were non-interest bearing charge card accounts and 89 per cent actual interest bearing credit card accounts. An active card account was used for purchases by an average of 45 times per year. Accounts that have been used at least once during the year are regarded as active card accounts. No statistics are compiled on the number of the cards themselves as several cards may be issued for one card account.

At the end of 2012, the stock of credit card debts amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, or 3 per cent more than one year earlier. Households held 67 per cent, and enterprises and entrepreneurs 33 per cent of the credit card debt. Over the year, credit card accounts generated EUR 39 million bad card debts, which is 5 per cent less than in 2011. Accounts closed due to delayed repayments numbered 45,000, and they decreased by 20 per cent from the previous year.

Source: Financial activities, Credit cards 2012, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Hilkka Jaatinen 09 1734 3630, Kristiina Nieminen 09 1734 2957,

Director in charge: Leena Storgård

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Updated 7.5.2013

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Financial activities [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-9867. Credit cards 2012. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.6.2024].
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