Riksbank to gear up in 2021
News 2021 will be an intensive year for the Riksbank. A new reference rate is to be introduced, crisis preparedness is to be strengthened and new digital working and communication forms are to be developed. The RIX payment system is to be developed so that secure and efficient cross-border payments can take place around the clock and work on the e-krona is to be intensified. In addition, monetary policy has gained several new operational tools over the last year. Consequently, the Riksbank will have to recruit staff with new competencies over the next year. These are the main features of the Riksbank’s Operational Plan for 2021.
Many of the projects now being intensified were already included in the Strategic Plan for 2019, but, in some cases, the pandemic has strengthened the arguments for change and also the need to increase the speed of the projects. The Riksbank will therefore need to invest in the following three areas above all:
- Strengthened preparedness on many different fronts
- Development of infrastructure on the payment market
- IT resources (essentially due to investments in the preceding two areas)
The Riksbank is following its Strategic Plan for 2019-2022, as adopted by the Executive Board in December 2018. This is based on global trends and structural changes that affect the Riksbank’s operations as a whole – the payment market as well as financial stability and monetary policy, areas that are tightly interconnected.
Within each of these areas, the Riksbank needs to modernise and develop its operations to allow it to continue to contribute to a strong and secure economy for Sweden. The Swedish krona’s role as means of payment needs to be strengthened, monetary policy tools need to be renewed and overall crisis preparedness requires increased focus and resources. In addition, new digital working and communication forms are becoming necessary. The Riksbank has also been given responsibility for establishing an innovation hub in Stockholm in cooperation with the Bank for International Settlements.
This means that the Riksbank needs to carry out new recruitment. After decades of a decreasing or stable workforce, the Riksbank will thus grow again and gain new skills. Over the next two years, the Riksbank plans to recruit about sixty new employees, meaning that the workforce will amount to about 400 employees. Even if this is still small by international standards, it is a major investment. This is necessary if we are to manage to be both innovative and robust in a time of great transformation in the financial system, not least in the area of payments. It is mainly operational functions and IT support that now need to be extended and reinforced to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.