Payments Report 2024

Payments should work even in crisis and war

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The Riksbank has been given a clear mandate

Published: 14 March 2024

The Sveriges Riksbank Act gives the Riksbank responsibility for ensuring that the public can make payments even in times of crisis and war. This responsibility gives us tasks and mandates that will help to gradually strengthen the overall ability to make payments work even in these situations. In practice, this means that the Riksbank must identify which companies are covered and impose requirements on these companies. In addition, the Riksbank shall coordinate both planning for and management of a crisis or war situation. Finally, the Riksbank shall oversee that the companies meet their obligations.

In 2023, the Riksbank adopted regulations that create guidelines for both companies’ own work and the joint work coordinated by the Riksbank. In 2024, the Riksbank will establish the form and focus of the oversight.

New requirements for companies that are important for payments

The Riksbank has developed, secured support for and adopted regulations on payments. The regulations identify which companies are covered and describe requirements for how companies shall maintain their payment operations in times of crisis and war. Requirements for companies to participate in the work led by the Riksbank are also described. The regulations entered into force on 1 February this year.

In the first version of the regulations, the Riksbank has chosen to identify a small group of companies that are crucial to the functioning of payments. In this way, it will be possible to start work immediately on strengthening their ability to deal with peacetime crisis situations and states of heightened alert, while developing and establishing forms of cooperation and work processes. The Riksbank then intends to gradually extend the regulations to more companies. The companies initially covered by the regulations are certain credit institutions, companies providing payment apps, electronic identification and signatures, companies providing payment infrastructure and companies storing, counting and transporting cash.

Focus on increasing the ability to maintain payments

The Riksbank has established a new cooperation structure, Civil Preparedness Payments, for the joint work with the companies covered by the regulations.

The Riksbank provides guidelines and coordinates the work, which entails ensuring that the work fulfils both the requirements imposed on the Riksbank through the Sveriges Riksbank Act, and the requirements imposed on companies via the Riksbank’s regulations. To support coordination, the Riksbank has a reference group that includes the companies.

Over the year, the Riksbank will work with the companies to analyse payment flows, risks and vulnerabilities and identify the need for measures. We will also carry out training and exercise activities. In addition, a coordination and information management function has been established, which can be activated in the event of an incident. In the recently published inquiry A new function for crisis management during serious operational disruptions in the financial sector’s digital infrastructure it is proposed that the Riksbank shall be responsible for an operational management function within the civil preparedness sector ‘Financial services’ . This would require the Riksbank’s management function to be extended to cover the entire civil preparedness sector, and not be limited to the payments area.