Brexit – operations in Norway after the end of the transition period
Published: 21 October 2020
After the UK departed from the EU on 31 January 2020, it entered a transition period during which UK undertakings could continue to operate in Norway. The transition period ends on 31 December 2020. Finanstilsynet would like to remind financial institutions, investment firms and other undertakings offering cross-border financial services from the UK or through a branch in Norway to consider necessary measures resulting from the UK's exit from the EU and the EEA. This includes ensuring that they have the necessary authorisations if they plan to continue to operate in Norway after 31 December 2020.
In order to operate as a financial institution in Norway from a state outside the EEA, the institution must establish a branch pursuant to Section 5-6 of the Financial Institutions Act. Such establishments require a licence from the Norwegian authorities. Section 3-1 of the Financial Institutions Act specifies the licence application requirements.
Finanstilsynet assumes that insurance contracts that have already been entered into will remain valid after the end of the transition period and that this deadline in itself will provide no basis for terminating the contracts. Norwegian customer protection rules will still apply after the expiry of the transition period, e.g. the Insurance Contracts Act. Finanstilsynet refers to Sections 3-6 and 12-3 of the Insurance Contracts Act, according to which a policyholder may terminate the insurance contract at one month’s notice when the contract is transferred to another insurer.
With respect to statutory insurance policies etc. taken out with a UK insurer and UK insurers’ right to provide insurance services to customers in Norway after the end of the transition period, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security circulated a proposal for transitional rules for comment on 24 June 2020.
- Consultation document from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, section 6.3, and the proposed regulations on page 23 (pdf) (in Norwegian only).
After the end of the transition period, Norwegian insurance intermediaries will not have the opportunity to mediate insurance policies to UK insurers to a greater extent than to other countries outside the EEA. This applies to both new policies and renewals.
On 20 December 2018, the Ministry of Finance adopted temporary regulations on investment activities and investment services provided by third-country firms to professional clients and eligible counterparties in Norway. The Ministry has now circulated for comment amendments to the regulations, aiming to clarify for how long firms may provide services in accordance with the temporary regulations.
- See the regulations on contract continuity here (in Norwegian only)
- See the consultation document from the Ministry of Finance here (in Norwegian only)
If the amendments are approved, UK firms that are permitted to conduct investment activities in Norway on 31 December 2020 on the basis of home country authorisation and supervision under the EEA Agreement, will be permitted to continue to provide such investment services to professional clients and eligible counterparties in Norway until 31 December 2022. The same applies to branches established in the UK, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar of firms that were permitted to provide such services in Norway on 31 December 2020.
Marketing of funds in Norway
Finanstilsynet refers to previously published information on marketing of funds. Finanstilsynet will publish updated information on applications shortly.
Legal consequences for audit firms
See more about legal consequences for audit firms.