Criteria for opening an account at Norges Bank

This overview provides brief information to financial institutions and others seeking information on the criteria that must be met in order to open an account at Norges Bank. The text does not provide complete information on all criteria for maintaining an account. Thus, reference is made to rules and regulations for more detailed information.

Who may open an account at Norges Bank?

In general, banks and other credit institutions headquartered in an EEA state may open an account at Norges Bank. In special circumstances other financial sector companies may also open such an account.

The following are the main regulations regarding maintaining an account at Norges Bank:

More detailed information on the main contents of the regulations can be found below.

Commercial banks and savings banks

Pursuant to the Norges Bank Act, Norges Bank may accept deposits from and extend loans to commercial banks and savings banks on terms and conditions determined by Norges Bank. The access of banks to borrowing and deposit facilities in Norges Bank is regulated more specifically in the Lending Regulation, which encompasses the following kinds of institution:

  • Commercial banks and savings banks headquartered in Norway.
  • Branches in Norway of banks and credit institutions headquartered in another state.
  • Banks and other credit institutions that are permitted to market and provide services in Norway from a commercial presence in another EEA state (cross-border services).

Norges Bank may, on a case-by-case basis, allow banks and other credit institutions that are permitted to market and provide cross-border services in Norway from a commercial presence in a state outside the EEA to open an account at Norges Bank.

Financial sector institutions other than banks

Norges Bank may, in specific circumstances, accept deposits from and extend loans and other forms of credit to financial sector institutions other than banks. The terms and conditions for such deposits and credit are determined by Norges Bank.

Norges Bank has only in few cases allowed financial sector institutions other than banks to maintain an account at Norges Bank. However, Norges Bank has decided that central counterparties that provide settlement in Norwegian kroner (NOK) may open an account at Norges Bank on the basis of a case-by-case assessment.

For what purpose may the account be used?

An account at Norges Bank may be used for settlement of the following kinds of payment orders (among others):

  • Payments to other account holders at Norges Bank.
  • Payments from other account holders at Norges Bank.
  • Settlement of net payment positions from clearing systems.
  • Deposits and withdrawals of cash at Norges Bank.

Norges Bank does not offer payment services for banks beyond its functions as a settlement bank. This means that Norges Bank does not provide so-called correspondent banking services to banks.

What requirements apply for opening an account at Norges Bank?

In order to open an account at Norges Bank, the requirements below must be met. Norges Bank may also impose additional requirements in special cases.

  • The institution must meet the requirements of the Norges Bank Act and the Lending Regulation.
  • The institution must have authorisation from the relevant authorities to operate as a bank, other credit institution or other financial undertaking.
  • The institution must accept the terms and conditions for account management, collateralisation and participation in Norges Bank's settlement system (NBO). For institutions other than banks, an individual agreement with Norges Bank based on these terms and conditions will be required.
  • The institution must establish an ICT interface with Norges Bank's settlement system by using NBO Online and, if appropriate, SWIFT. NBO Online is an internet-based solution for providing banks with access to information from their accounts at Norges Bank and the ability to register payment orders. Banks that wish to use SWIFT in their communication with Norges Bank must participate in Norges Bank's SWIFT user group.
  • If the institution wishes to be able to borrow from Norges Bank, it must deposit securities as collateral for such loans in a securities register that is approved by Norges Bank for this purpose.
  • The institution must pay for account management in accordance with the prices and fees that are set by Norges Bank that apply each year. Prices and fees are published in a circular at least two months before they become effective.

How to apply for an account

In order to open an account at Norges Bank, the institution must submit a written application with the following documentation:

  • Information about the institution and its operations.
  • Copy of necessary authorisations to offer financial services issued by the relevant authorities.
  • Completed and signed form for maintaining an account at Norges Bank.
  • Copy of valid company registration.
  • Certified copy of valid identification of the persons authorised to sign for the institution in accordance with the company registration.

Questions regarding opening and maintaining an account at Norges Bank should be directed to Norges Bank, Interbank Settlement, by e-mail: nbo@norges-bank.no or by telephone: +47 22 31 60 78.

Application and documents in original should be submitted by regular mail to:

Norges Bank
Interbank settlement
P.O. Box 1179, Sentrum
NO-0107 Oslo
Norway

Published 17 July 2017 14:15