Sveriges riksbank, or simply the Riksbank, is the central bank of Sweden. It is the world's oldest central bank and the third oldest bank in operation.
The Riksbank began operations in 1668. Previously, Sweden was served by the Stockholms Banco (also known as the Bank of Palmstruch), founded by Johan Palmstruch in 1656. Although the bank was private, it was the king who chose its management: in a letter to Palmstruch, he gave permission to its operations according to stated regulations.
Having learned the lesson of the Stockholms Banco experience, the Riksbank was not permitted to issue bank-notes. Nevertheless, in 1701, permission was granted to issue so called credit-notes".
A few years later, the first commercial banks were founded and these were also allowed to issue bank-notes. The bank-notes represented a claim to the bank without interest paid, and thus became a considerable source of income for banks.
During the 19th century, the Riksbank maintained a dominant position as a credit institution and issuer of bank-notes. The bank also managed national trade transactions as well as continuing to provide credit to the general public.
The first branch-office was opened in 1824, later followed with subsidiary branches opening in each county (län). The present operational activities as a central bank differ from those during the 19th century. For example, no interest-rate-related activities were conducted.
The position of the Riksbank as a central bank dates back to 1897, when the first Riksbank Act was accepted concurrently with a law giving the Riksbank the exclusive right to issue bank-notes. This copyright concluded its role and importance regarding monetary policy in a modern sense, as the exclusive right to issue notes is a condition when conducting monetary policy and defending the value of a currency.
According to en.wikipedia