The Swedish Riksbank (or central bank) is the third oldest bank in the world and the longest established national bank. Established in 1668, it celebrated its 350th anniversary a couple of years ago, which was commemorated with a stamp.
The trivia completists among you will want to know which are the two banks that are even older than the Riksbank. And of course I’ve found out for you, because I am one of you. The oldest bank in the world that is still in operation is the Banco Monte Dei Paschi di Siena, based in Siena, Italy, established by monks in 1472 and in its present form in 1624. Second oldest is the Berenberg Bank, established in Hamburg, Holy Roman Empire / Germany in 1590.
Oh no! Trivia completists… there is confusion! Child & Co of the UK claims to have been set up in 1664 and be the third oldest, beating Sweden by some 4 years. This demands further investigation!
So let me in the meantime tell you that the motto of the Riksbank is “Herefore strength and safety”, that it didn’t start printing its own banknotes until a string of forgeries of other banks’ notes meant that people lost faith in money, and the current Governor is Stefan Ingves.