The Riksbank’s 350th anniversary
In 1668, the Riksdag, Sweden's parliament, decided to found Riksens Ständers Bank (the Estates of the Realm Bank), which in 1867 received the name Sveriges Riksbank. The Riksbank is thus the world’s oldest central bank. In 2018, the Riksbank celebrated its 350th anniversary by holding various events throughout the year.
The Riksbank is now a modern central bank with operations that are constantly being developed. Essentially, however, the task remains the same as it has always been – to create the conditions for good economic growth, economic stability and growth in Sweden.
During the anniversary year, we took the opportunity to highlight the important role of the Riksbank over the last 350 years by relating our history and linking it up to the present and the future. The aim was to spread knowledge about the Riksbank's role in the Swedish economy and about the important future issues within our field.
We arranged activities for both specially invited guests and the general public, in Stockholm where the Riksbank has its headquarters, as well as in other places around the country in which we have previously had local offices. Here are some examples of the events held during the anniversary year:
The 25 May 2018 marked the official celebration by the Riksbank and the Riksdag of the 350th anniversary of the Riksbank. A special anniversary conference was held on the theme "The role of central banks then, now and in the future".
The Riksbank organised events for the general public in six of the locations around the country where the Riksbank previously had local offices: Luleå, Karlstad, Malmö, Sundsvall, Gothenburg and Linköping. The general public was invited to a lecture by one of the Riksbank's six executive board members on the theme of payments and the history of the Riksbank, "From copper coins to e-krona". We also served coffee and cake.
On Saturday, 22 September 2018, exactly 350 years after it was founded, the Riksbank celebrated its 350th birthday by opening the doors of its head office at Brunkebergstorg in Stockholm to the general public.
The visitors were able to partake of:
- gold bars from the gold and foreign currency reserves,
- an exhibition of private banknotes, Sweden's first coin and a copy of the world's largest copper coin,
- films about the Riksbank's operations,
- lectures by Governor Stefan Ingves, First Deputy Governor Kerstin af Jochnick, and Deputy Governor Cecilia Skingsley about the Riksbank and our history,
- lectures by author and historian Gunnar Wetterberg talking about the Riksbank's 350-year history,
- guided tours of the architecture and art in the Riksbank building, during which the Chairperson of the General Council of the Riksbank, Susanne Eberstein and Deputy Governors Per Jansson, Martin Flodén and Henry Olsson also talked about the work of the Executive Board and the General Council.
The commemorative book "Sveriges Riksbank and the History of Central Banking" was published. The book gives the reader an overall picture of the history of central banking, with the main focus on the Riksbank.
PostNord issued two new stamps in 2018 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Sveriges Riksbank.
Stockholm City Museum arranged guided walks of important locations and buildings in the Riksbank's history.
We produced the publication "Sveriges Riksbank – a 350-year journey" looking back at important events in the history of the Riksbank up to the present day.