Sveriges Riksbank, or the Riksbank as it is usually called, is the world’s oldest central bank. It was founded in 1668 and was then known as the Bank of the Estates of the Realm, in other words, parliament’s bank. Initially, the Riksbank was more like an ordinary commercial bank than a central bank. It lent money to the general public and did not have a monopoly on issuing banknotes until 1904. Prior to this the banks issued their own banknotes.
The Riksbank began its activities in 1668. Its precursor was the so-called Palmstruch bank, or Stockholm Banco, which was founded in 1656. Although Johan Palmstruch’s bank was private, its governors were chosen by the King and the bank’s activities were regulated in a document whereby the King gave Palmstruch permission to run a bank.
You can read more about the history of the Riksbank by clicking on the links in the left-hand menu.