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Tuesday's papers: Rural flight, paperless banking and food wars

Sinking property values, the end of paper banking codes and German discounter Lidl continues to challenge Finnish supermarkets.

Nuori mies vertailee eri juustoja ruokakaupassa.
Studies have shown Finnish consumers to be price conscious. Image: Trond H. Trosdahl / Lehtikuva

Low interest rates and improved employment levels have not prevented property values from dropping across Finland, reports national daily Helsingin Sanomat, picking up a study by brokerage firm Vuokraturva.

Findings point to deepening polarisation in the real estate market characterised by residents abandoning suburbs for compact downtown areas.

Poor job prospects are pushing down housing prices in many mid-sized towns, including Lahti, Pori, Vaasa and Mikkeli.

Risky paper

Most residents in Finland use paper banking codes for accessing their accounts online, but new rules from the European Banking Authority (EBA) say hard-copy codes no longer meet security requirements, according to business daily Kauppalehti.

Sanna Atrila of Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority said banks in Finland have known about impending rule changes since 2017.

Authorities estimate some two to three million people in Finland still use paper codes to do their banking.

Food wars

Food prices will rise in the coming years, although increases will be incremental thanks to growing competition, finds a study by Pellervo Economic Research PTT in agricultural newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus.

Findings showed that supermarkets Prisma and Lidl continue to battle over the number one spot as the price-friendliest grocer.

S-Group, which owns Prisma, commands 46.4 percent of the market while Lidl holds 9.6 percent. The K-Group is between the two with a 36.1 percent share.

The study also showed that online grocery shopping has not taken off in Finland. Residents spent 18 billion euros on groceries last year, but only 60 million of these purchases were made online.

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