Sveriges Riksbank


Sveriges Riksbank

Infobox Central bank
bank_name_in_local = Sveriges Riksbank sv icon
image_1 = Sveriges Riksbanks huvudkontor vid Brunkebergstorg.jpg
image_title_1 = Sveriges Riksbanks main office at Brunkebergstorg
image_2 =
image_title_2 =
headquarters = Stockholm
established = 1668
president = Stefan Ingves
leader_title = Governor
bank_of = Sweden
currency = Swedish krona
currency_iso = SEK
reserves =
borrowing_rate =
deposit_rate =
website = [http://www.riksbank.se http://www.riksbank.se]
preceded = Riksens Ständers Bank (1866) Stockholms Banco(1668)
succeeded =
footnotes =

Sveriges Riksbank, or simply Riksbanken, is the central bank of Sweden and the world's oldest central bank. [cite web
title=Sveriges Riksbank/Riksbanken – History
publisher=Sveriges Riksbank
date=2004-03-14
url=http://www.riksbank.com/templates/Page.aspx?id=9159
accessdate=2007-11-15
] It is sometimes called the Swedish National Bank or the Bank of Sweden__NOTOC__

History

The Riksbank began its operations in 1668, its antecedent being "Stockholms Banco" (also known as the "Bank of Palmstruch"), which was founded by Johan Palmstruch in 1656. Although the bank was private, it was the King who chose its management: in a letter to Palmstruch he gave permission to its operations according to stated regulations.

However, Stockholms Banco, the world's oldest note-issuing bank collapsed as a result of the issuing of too many notes without the necessary collateral. Palmstruch, who was considered responsible for the bank's losses, was condemned to death, but later received clemency. On September 17 1668, the privilege of Palmstruch to operate a bank, was transferred to the "Riksens Ständers Bank" (translation: Bank of the Estates of the Realm) and was run under the auspices of the parliament of the day. Due to the failure of Stockholm Banco the new bank was managed under the direct control of the Riksdag of the Estates to prevent the interference of the King. When a new Riksdag was instituted in 1866, the name of the bank was changed to Sveriges Riksbank.

Having learnt the lesson of the Stockholms Banco experience, the Riksbank was not permitted to issue bank-notes. Nevertheless, in 1701 permission was granted to issue so called "credit-notes". Some time in the middle of the 18th century counterfeit notes began appearing which caused serious problems. To prevent forgeries it was decided that the Riksbank should produce its own paper for bank-notes and a paper-mill, Tumba Bruk, was founded in Tumba, on the outskirts of Stockholm.

A few years later, the first commercial banks were founded and these were also allowed to issue bank-notes. The bank-notes represented a claim to the bank without interest paid, and thus became a considerable source of income to the banks. Nonetheless, security in the form of a deposit at the Riksbank was required to cover the value of all notes issued.

During the 19th century the Riksbank maintained a dominant position as a credit institution and issuer of bank-notes. The bank also managed national trade transactions as well as continuing to provide credit to the general public. The first branch-office was opened in 1824, later followed with subsidiary branches opening in each county ("län"). The present operational activities as a central bank differ from those during the 19th century. For example, no interest-rate related activities were conducted.

The position of the Riksbank as a central bank dates back to 1897 when the first "Riksbank Act" was accepted concurrently with a law giving the Riksbank the exclusive right of issuing bank-notes. This copyright concluded its role and importance regarding monetary policy in a modern sense, as the exclusive right to issue notes is a condition when conducting monetary policy and defending the value of a currency. Behind the decision were repeated demands that the private banks should cease to issue notes as it was considered that the ensuing profits should befall the general public.

The Swedish currency was until 1931 backed by gold and the paper-certificates could be exchanged for gold coins. The bank was obligated until 1975 by the Swedish constitution to exchange the paper-certificates for gold, but in 1931 a specialized temporary law was written to free the bank from this obligation. This law was renewed every year until the new constitution was ratified 1975 which split the bank from the government into a stand-alone organization not obligated to exchange notes for gold. [ [http://www.riksbank.com/templates/Page.aspx?id=10892 Frequently asked questions] from Sveriges Riksbank accessed on December 12 2006]

In November 1992, the fixed exchange rate regime of the Swedish Krona collapsed. A few months later, in January 1993, the Governing Board of the Riksbank developed a new monetary policy regime based on a floating exchange rate and an inflation target. These policies were extensively influenced by assistance from the Bank of Canada, which had extensive previous experience controlling inflation, while similarly being a small open economy, heavily subject to foreign exchange rate swings [ [http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/conference/con97/cn97-16.pdf Inflation Targeting - The Swedish Experience] from The Bank of Canada accessed on May 26 2007] .

From 1991-93, Sweden experienced the most severe recession since the 1930s. The recession in the early 1990s forced inflation down to around 2%. The rate of inflation continued to be low during the subsequent years of strong growth in the late 90s.

Famous Motto

The Bank of Sweden has a motto which is famous in Sweden: "Hinc robur et securitas" ("Herefore strength and safety").

Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

Following its third centennial in 1968, the Bank instituted the annual Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which is awarded with the Nobel Prizes at the Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.

References

See also

*Economy of Sweden
*Monetary policy of Sweden
**Swedish krona
**Riksdaler
**Scandinavian Monetary Union
*Parliament of Sweden
*Government of Sweden
*Swedish National Debt Office
*Business Schools in Sweden
*Södra Bankohuset

External links

* en [http://www.riksbank.com/ Official site of Sveriges Riksbank in English]
* [http://www.riksbank.com/templates/Page.aspx?id=27394 Historical Monetary Statistics of Sweden 1668–2008 published by the Riksbank]


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