Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet)

The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (FSA), also known as Finanstilsynet, is the key government agency in charge of overseeing Norway's financial industry and is in charge of all banks and financial organizations. The FSA's supervisory responsibility includes managing licensing and monitoring requirements for financial activity in Norway and ensuring that enterprises follow Norwegian government legislation such as anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing legislation.


The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (FSA) is an independent government organization that was founded in 1986 when the Norwegian Insurance Council, the Bank Inspection Agency, and the Broker Control Agency merged to establish the FSA. Until 2009, the Financial Supervisory Authority was known as the Credit Supervisory Authority (Kredittilsynet). The FSA is based in Oslo and is presently headed by Finn Arnesen. The Norwegian Ministry of Finance supervises it.

The FSA's mission is to promote financial stability and well-functioning marketplaces in Norway and collaborate with international regulatory agencies, such as ensuring that legislation relevant to EEA member states is implemented successfully in Norway.

As Norway’s financial regulator, the FSA fulfills the following functions: 

Monitoring: On-site and off-site examinations of financial institutions in Norway are part of the FSA's regulatory responsibility. The FSA evaluates businesses against a set of risk-based criteria based on international anti-money laundering (AML) standards and performs ongoing evaluations to uncover emerging dangers that might threaten financial stability in the future.


Licensing: Organizations intending to act as banks or financial service providers in Norway must get a license from the FSA. The FSA establishes the requirements for companies seeking approval and manages the application process. When the FSA detects violations of licensing standards, it has the right to require businesses to correct the problem or, in the event of significant infringement, revoke licenses.


Reporting: When banks and financial institutions notice questionable financial activity, they must notify the FSA. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) establishes reporting criteria for various types of financial institutions and the necessary reporting forms.


Regulation: The FSA collaborates with the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) to create, implement, and enforce financial legislation and anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing policies. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) publishes such regulations, as well as the institutions to whom they apply, on its website.


Communication: The FSA also serves as a network known for the financial industry, ensuring that financial institutions in Norway have access to the information and resources they need to comply with the country's AML/CFT financing rules.


AML in Norway

The Anti-Money Laundering Act (2018) is the main piece of AML law in Norway, and it incorporates the AML standards of the EU's Fourth and Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives (4AMLD and 5AMLD), as well as those laid forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).


The Anti-Money Laundering Act focuses on the following Norwegian financial institutions:

  • Banking and credit providers 
  • Financing businesses 
  • Payment service firms 
  • Holding corporations 
  • Insurance and pensions businesses 
  • Electronic money service firms


Obligated organizations in Norway must implement AML procedures to cope with the illegal risks posed by cryptocurrencies under 4AMLD and 5AMLD. In order to meet this requirement, the Norwegian Anti-Money Laundering Act placed financial institutions that provide cryptocurrency products under the oversight of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA). It imposed additional reporting requirements for crypto storage and exchange services.

How to Comply

Obligated entities in Norway need to develop a risk-based anti-money laundering program in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act, EU regulations, and FATF guidelines. This means that the AML procedures in place should be proportional to the amount of risk: following a risk assessment, lower-risk clients may deserve a simple AML response; however, higher-risk clients may require a more thorough AML response.


The following controls and procedures should be included in Norway's anti-money laundering programs:


Customer due diligence: In Norway, banks and financial institutions have to use adequate customer due diligence (CDD) processes to identify and confirm the identities of their clients and the nature of the activity in which they are involved. Customer-entity beneficial ownership must be established in the same way. Enhanced due diligence (EDD) should be applied to higher-risk consumers.


Transaction monitoring: Companies need to use transaction monitoring systems to detect when consumers engage in unusual financial conduct that might suggest money laundering attempts. Those measurements should be put up in practice to identify strange volumes, frequencies, or patterns of money transfers or transactions in high-risk countries. 


Screening: Customers of banks and financial institutions must be screened to see if they are on any international sanctions or watch lists, including the EU sanctions list. Firms must also perform PEP screening to determine whether clients are politically exposed persons (PEPs) who are more prone to be involved in money laundering.


Adverse media: Firms in Norway must regularly keep an eye out for adverse media reports involving their consumers. Firms should check conventional television and print media sources, as well as Internet sites, for adverse or unfavorable news, which might signal an increased degree of money laundering risk. 

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