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Norway – Banking

Norway is known for having one of the most stable and reliable banking systems in the world. The country has a high number of local banks as well as international banks, offering a wide range of accounts and services to its customers. In this article, we will cover the main local and international banks in Norway, account options for expats, typical banking hours, areas of concern, and how to open a bank account as an expat.

Local Banks in Norway

The following are some of the main local banks in Norway:

  • DNB Bank ASA – Norway’s largest financial services group, DNB Bank has over 300 branches across the country.
  • SpareBank 1 – A group of 14 independent savings banks, SpareBank 1 has over 300 branches across Norway.
  • Nordea Bank – One of the largest banks in Europe, Nordea Bank has branches in Norway as well.
  • Handelsbanken – A Swedish bank with a strong presence in Norway, Handelsbanken has branches in major cities across the country.
  • Santander Bank – A Spanish bank with branches in Norway, Santander Bank offers personal and corporate banking services.

International Banks in Norway

Several international banks have a presence in Norway as well, including major UK and US banks:

Accounts and Services for Expats

Most banks in Norway offer a range of accounts and services specifically aimed at expats, including:

  • Foreign currency accounts: These accounts allow expats to hold and manage multiple currencies in one account.
  • Savings accounts: Several banks in Norway offer high-interest savings accounts for expats.
  • Credit cards: Expats can apply for credit cards with most banks in Norway.
  • Loans: Banks in Norway offer various types of loans, including personal loans, mortgages, and car loans.

Typical Bank Opening Hours

Banking hours in Norway vary from bank to bank, but most banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm. Some banks may also be open on Saturdays, with shorter operating hours.

Areas of Concern

One area of concern for expats in Norway is the high cost of living. Banking fees can also be quite high in Norway, with some banks charging fees for certain services such as ATM withdrawals, transfers, and account maintenance. It is essential to research the fees and charges of different banks before opening an account.

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Opening a Bank Account

Opening a bank account in Norway as an expat is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Research various banks and compare fees, services, and account requirements.
  2. Once you have chosen a bank, visit their website to begin the account opening process.
  3. Fill out the online application form with your personal information, contact details, and employment status.
  4. Provide identification documents such as a passport or national ID card.
  5. If you are a non-resident, you may also need to provide proof of your Norwegian identification number (D-number).
  6. Wait for the bank to review your application and approve your account.
  7. Once your account is approved, you will receive your debit card and other account details in the mail.

It is important to note that some banks may require additional documentation or may have different application processes, so it is always best to check with the bank directly for their specific requirements.