Banking and finance
Published: 11 February 2020
Last updated: 11 September 2023
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.
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 Financial Institutions Act.
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.
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 according to Section 28 of the Public Administration Act.