Swedish financial regulator to become next Riksbank governor

Erik Thedéen will replace Stefan Ingves as Riksbank’s head

Erik Thedéen
Erik Thedéen

Sweden’s central bank governor Stefan Ingves will step down at the end of this year, to be replaced by the country’s chief financial regulator.

Ingves has been head of Sveriges Riksbank since January 2006 and will leave office when his fourth term ends on December 31. The Riksbank’s 11-member general council, which decides on the appointment of senior officials, said on June 17 that Erik Thedéen would be the next governor.

The governing council’s head and deputy head said it had unanimously approved Thedéen’s appointment to a six-year term. It called him “a highly qualified replacement for Stefan Ingves”.

Thedéen has “deep and broad experience and great commitment to financial issues”, said governing council chair Susanne Eberstein and her deputy Michael Lundholm. His “experience in managing financial authorities and organisations make him well suited to become the new governor of the Riksbank”, they added. 

They praised Ingves for his service, saying they were “very grateful for the work Stefan Ingves has done for the Riksbank and the Swedish economy”. They said “his dedication to explaining and communicating the tasks, objectives and decisions of the central bank have contributed to making the Riksbank more transparent and accessible”. 

Eberstein and Lundholm noted Ingves had played “a key role in the work on strengthening the Swedish and global financial systems following the financial crisis”. Another possible candidate for the role, the Riksbank’s first deputy governor, Cecilia Skingsley, announced 10 days before that she would soon leave the central bank.

On June 7, Skingsley was appointed head of the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, succeeding Benoît Cœuré. She became one of the Riksbank’s deputy governors in 2013, and the general council appointed her to a six-year term as the first deputy governor in 2019.

New governor

Thedéen has been head of Sweden’s Financial Services Authority since October 2015, after holding senior positions in both the private and public sectors. He holds a master’s degree from the Stockholm School of Economics, but, unlike Ingves, has not had a career as an academic economist.

He has been the chief executive of a pension fund for local government employees and the senior civil servant at the Swedish finance ministry. He has also served as deputy director general of Sweden’s national debt office, and as an analyst and trader at the Riksbank.

Thedéen is the vice-chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority and chairs the International Organization of Securities Commissions taskforce on sustainable finance.

Leading international role

Ingves has been a prominent and at times outspoken figure in his extended tenure as Sweden’s central bank governor. He chaired the Basel Committee on Banking Standards from 2011 until 2019.

Under his leadership, the central bank developed a prototype central bank digital currency, the e-krona. He has frequently criticised Sweden’s government for what he has described as its failure to take action over rising house prices.

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