2006 - Stefan Ingves becomes Governor of the Riksbank
Ingves was Governor when the Executive Board took the historic decision to cut the repo rate to zero in 2014 and then to introduce a negative interest rate in 2015.
Stefan Ingves was born in Turku in Finland in 1953. He grew up in Närpes in Finland and, as a seventeen-year-old, decided to move to the United States. In 1984, he defended his doctoral thesis in economics at the Stockholm School of Economics.
In 2005, Ingves was appointed Governor of the Riksbank with a mandate period of six years from 1 January 2006. In 2011, Ingves’ mandate was extended by a further six-year period and then by a further five years from 1 January 2018.
When Ingves took office as Governor of the Riksbank in 2006, he had a solid career behind him. Among other things, he had been director-general of the Ministry of Finance, Deputy Governor of the Riksbank and head of the Department for Monetary and Financial Systems at the International Monetary Fund.
Ingves was also Director General of the Swedish Bank Support Authority from its start in 1993. The Bank Support Authority was an authority founded to support the Government in the management of the effects of the financial crisis 1990–1994.
Another challenge was the global financial crisis of 2008. Sweden is considered to have coped with the crisis relatively well, primarily due to a well-managed economy and a well-capitalised banking system, but also due to the support measures adopted by the Riksbank together with other authorities.
Ingves was Governor when the Executive Board took the historic decision to cut the repo rate to zero in 2014 and then to introduce a negative interest rate in 2015. The expansionary monetary policy was aimed at getting inflation to rise towards the inflation target of 2 per cent. The expansionary monetary policy is deemed to have been a contributory factor in growth in Sweden maintaining a good level despite the weak developments abroad.
Over his time as Governor, Stefan Ingves has repeatedly highlighted the issue of the unsustainable development of the Swedish housing market as one of the most serious risks for the Swedish economy. The problems on the housing market, as Ingves has frequently pointed out, are basically due to factors that are not linked to monetary policy; other reforms in other policy areas are needed, for example a review of the tax system, so that households’ incentive to take on debt is reduced.
In his years as Governor, Ingves also managed the historical changeover of banknotes and coins in 2015–2016, when all banknotes and coins except the 10-krona were replaced and a new banknote denomination, the 200-krona, was introduced in Sweden, together with a new 2-krona.
In his years as Governor, Ingves has been engaged in international cooperation, among other commitments as Chairman of the Advisory Technical Committee (ATC) of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and as Chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).