The Riksbank

What are the Riksbank’s tasks?

Sveriges Riksbank is Sweden’s central bank and a public authority under the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament. The Riksbank currently has one objective – to ensure that inflation is low and stable. The Riksbank has therefore been made responsible for Sweden's monetary policy, that is, influencing inflation through the interest rate. But the Bank has also been given the task of overseeing that the system for making payments functions without disruption. Additionally, the Riksbank issues banknotes and coins and manages Sweden's reserve of gold and foreign currencies.

What is the Riksbank’s stance in relation to politics?

On 1 January 1999 the Riksbank was granted statutory independence in regard to politics. This means that politicians are not able to govern the Riksbank themselves; they have appointed the Executive Board to do so. The Executive Board is not allowed to receive instructions from politicians or others and its members can be dismissed if they do not perform their duties.

What does a central bank do?

Almost every country in the world has a central bank. A central bank is responsible for issuing banknotes and functions as the banks’ bank. The way that central banks are organised and the tasks they have sometimes differ. But they are all responsible for their country’s monetary policy, that is, adjusting the interest rate to maintain the value of money.
 
Central banks also have, together with other government agencies, the task of ensuring that payments in the economy can be made safely and efficiently at the lowest possible cost. The Riksbank is Sweden’s central bank.

How is the Riksbank governed?

The Riksbank is led by an Executive Board consisting of six members. The members of the Executive Board are appointed by the General Council, which in turn is appointed by the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament. Together the Board members are responsible for the Bank’s activities.

 

One of the members is the Governor of the Riksbank and the Chairman of the Executive Board. In normal cases the Executive Board can make a decision when at least half of the members are present. The Governor has the casting vote.
 
The Executive Board is appointed by the General Council of the Riksbank, which has eleven members. The General Council is in turn appointed by the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament. In addition to appointing the Executive Board, the General Council has the task of overseeing that the Board members work to promote the Riksbank's objective and they also decide on the design of banknotes and coins.

Who are the members of the Executive Board?

The members of the Executive Board are appointed for a period of 5 or 6 years according to a rolling schedule.

 

Members of the Executive Board.

How long has the Riksbank existed?

The Riksbank is considered to be the world’s oldest central bank, and was founded in 1668.

Which laws govern the Riksbank?

Sveriges Riksbank is Sweden’s central bank and a public authority under the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament. The Bank’s monetary policy responsibility and the right to issue banknotes and coins are laid down in the Instrument of Government, one of Sweden’s constitutional laws. The Riksdag has decided on a more detailed framework for the Riksbank’s tasks in the Sveriges Riksbank Act.

How many people work at the Riksbank?

Around 400 people work at the Riksbank. The average age of the employees is 43 and around 46 per cent of the employees are women. A high percentage of the employees, 70 per cent, have a university education.

Why does the Riksbank present a prize for economics?

Sveriges Riksbank’s Prize in Economic Sciences was established in connection with the Riksbank’s 300th anniversary in 1968. The prize is awarded every year to a person or persons in the field of economic sciences who have produced work of outstanding importance. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences appoints the prize-winner(s) according to the same principles as for the Nobel Prizes. The prize amount is also the same as for the Nobel Prizes, SEK 10 million, and is paid by the Riksbank. If there is more than one winner, the prize amount is shared equally between them.

When was the Riksbank building built?

The current Riksbank building at Brunkebergstorg 11 was completed in 1976, taking six years to construct.


The building was designed by architect Peter Celsing and was inaugurated on 8 April 1976.

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