Criteria for opening an account at Norges Bank
Brief information to banks and other financial institutions that seek 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 requirements for account management. Thus, reference is made to rules and regulations for more detailed information.
Who may open an account at Norges Bank?
In general, banks and, subject to a case-by-case assessment, other financial institutions headquartered in an EEA state may open an account at Norges Bank. The account shall promote the statutory purpose of the central bank. Norges Bank lays down the terms and conditions for deposits and loans.
The following are the main regulations regarding account management at Norges Bank:
- The Act on Norges Bank and the Monetary System etc.
- The Regulation on the Access to Borrowing and Deposit Facilities at Norges Bank
- Terms and Conditions for Account Management at Norges Bank - Banks (pdf)
- Terms and Conditions for Account Management at Norges Bank - Central Counterparties (CCP) (pdf)
- Guidelines for pledging collateral for loans from Norges Bank
More detailed information on the main contents of the regulations can be found below.
In order to open an account at Norges Bank a bank must have an authorisation pursuant to § 3-2 of the Financial Institutions Act, cf § 2-7. Similarly, a branch in Norway of a bank headquartered in another state must meet the conditions in Chapter 5 of the Financial Institutions Act.
In order to access all borrowing and deposit facilities at Norges Bank, including deposits and loans with a fixed maturity, the bank must participate actively in the intermediation of payments and credit and be classified by Norges Bank as a monetary policy counterparty.
A bank that is not classified as a monetary policy counterparty may, subject to a case-by-case assessment, open an account and access Norges Bank’s deposit and borrowing facilities, or parts thereof, subject to terms and conditions laid down by Norges Bank.
Financial sector institutions other than banks
Financial sector institutions other than banks may, subject to a case-by-case assessment, be granted access to an account and to Norges Bank’s deposit and borrowing facilities on terms and conditions laid down by Norges Bank, cf § 3 of the Lending Regulation. In conducting this assessment, Norges Bank will emphasise to what extent the institution participates actively in payment intermediation or if the account management will contribute to financial stability or in any other way promote the statutory purpose of the central bank.
Norges Bank has decided that central counterparties and central securities depositories that provide settlement in Norwegian kroner (NOK), subject to a case-by-case assessment, may have an account at Norges Bank.
For what purpose may the account be used?
In general, an account at Norges Bank may be used for settlement of the following kinds of payment orders:
- 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 at Norges Bank».
- 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 closed user group.
- If the institution wishes to obtain loans 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. Deposits with fixed maturity at Norges Bank and deposits with another central bank may also be used as collateral for loans from Norges Bank.
- The institution must pay for account management in accordance with the prices and fees that are laid down by Norges Bank for each year. Prices and fees are published by circular from Norges Bank 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 Account Management 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.
More information on account management at Norges Bank, including regulations and forms, is available from the internet-pages of Norges Bank's Settlement System.
Questions regarding opening and management of an account at Norges Bank should be directed to Norges Bank, Interbank Settlement, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: +47 22 31 60 78.
Application and documents in original should be submitted by regular mail to:
P.O. Box 1179, Sentrum