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Banking and finance

If you want to open a bank in Norway you need to apply for a banking licence to operate either as a savings bank or a commercial bank.

General requirements

Licensing requires an initial capital (equity capital or ownerless capital) amounting to at least the equivalent of EUR 5 million in Norwegian kroner. The bank's capital must be sufficient to undertake the type of banking in question. Members of the Board, the CEO or any other person directly in charge of the bank must also be considered fit and proper for the position.

The bank must meet all legal requirements that govern its operations. A fuller account of the requirements to be met when applying for a banking licence can be found in the Commercial Banks Act (section 8a) and the Savings Banks Act (section 3).

Legal requirements

Licence to carry on banking in another EEA state

A bank that is licensed to operate in one EEA state is also licensed to operate in any other EEA state, provided it notifies its intention to do so to the authorities of the host country in question. Requirements to be met by banks from elsewhere in the EEA that intend to operate in Norway, and by Norwegian banks that intend to operate elsewhere in the EEA, are set forth in the following regulations:

The application process

Maximum processing time for applications for a banking licence in Norway is six months.

Applications relating to institutions of major importance, or in cases likely to create a precedent, are decided by the Ministry of Finance.

All licence applications should be sent to the Finanstilsynet which either prepares a response for final decision by the Ministry of Finance or makes a decision itself under powers delegated to it by the ministry.

Licence applications can be sent as an email attachment. 

Right of appeal

Applicants have a right of appeal under the Public Administration Act, section 28:

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