Our history

Our history

We have supported the Swedish export industry with financing for over 50 years. SEK was founded jointly by the Swedish government and major Swedish banks in 1962, but since 2003 SEK has been wholly owned by the Swedish government.

The post-war years: new need for financing

Industrial competition increased following the restoration of Europe’s production capabilities after the Second World War. Buyers’ demanded increasingly generous terms of credit, which became a burden for Swedish industry and the banking sector couldn’t cope. So Sweden’s commercial banks wanted to establish an export finance institution with state-funded guarantees.

1962: SEK is founded

When it was formed in 1962 the Swedish Export Credit Corporation, SEK, was jointly owned by the Swedish government and the commercial banks. Our very first transaction was the financing of the cargo ship M/S Berit, which was built at Finnboda Shipyard in 1962-1963 for export to the Åland Islands.

The 1960s and 1970s: lending gets easier

SEK made a number of changes in the 1960s that made it easier to lend to the export sector. This allowed more Swedish exporters to access loans and become more competitive.

The 1970s were a period of uncertainty around the world, and the Oil Crisis and economic conditions in both OECD nations and developing countries created new demands for lending. Most credit institutions around the world were forced to offer borrowers more generous terms. This led to a raft of international agreements on lending between 1976 and 1978.


SEK facts

1978 saw the introduction of the state-funded Swedish credit system. Since 2003 SEK has been wholly owned by the Swedish government.

1980s and 1990s: clarification of our role

1978 saw the introduction of the state-supported credit system (the SEK system) in Sweden. SEK provided lending at subsidized interest rates and compensated for foreign exchange losses, allowing us to offer our clients the best terms in Sweden.

In 1979, we signed special credit agreements with the Soviet Union and China. We provided state-funded export credits to help Swedish exports. In the 1980s, we developed new products to strengthen the Swedish export sector.

In the late 1990s, ABB replaced the banks as SEK’s co-owner and since 2003 SEK has been wholly owned by the Swedish government.

SEK today: boosting Swedish exports

We offer expertise in international capital markets, as well as knowledge of the corporate culture and conditions in different countries. SEK’s international borrowing and lending capabilities are ranked among the best in the world. We use this knowledge and experience to help more Swedish businesses succeed abroad.