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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Norway has made substantial progress in strengthening its framework for financial crisis management and bank safety nets since the 2015 FSAP. The Norwegian authorities have implemented the EU framework. The Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) has been transposed into the Norwegian legal framework mainly by amendments to the Financial Institutions and Financial Groups Act and accompanying regulations. Finanstilsynet (the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway, FSA) has been designated as Norway’s resolution authority. Resolution financing options were broadened by establishing a resolution fund. While the Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive (DGSD) has yet to be brought into the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, Norway has, in fact, already transposed it into the Norwegian law. This provides the Norwegian authorities with a broadened and detailed regulatory framework for dealing with weak banks.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note presents a targeted review of selected aspects in the regulation and supervision of banks in Norway. The review is carried out as part of the 2020 Norway Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and the findings and recommendations are based on the regulatory framework in place and the supervisory practices employed at end-October 2019. The note focuses on the powers and responsibilities, independence, and resourcing of Finanstilsynet (FSA); its supervisory approach and enforcement powers and practices; key aspects of the prudential framework; and mechanisms to prevent abuse of financial services.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Much of the work of the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the missions ending on February 13, 2020. Given the FSAP’s focus on medium-term challenges and vulnerabilities, however, its findings and recommendations for strengthening policy and institutional frameworks remain pertinent. The report was updated to reflect key developments and policy changes since the mission work was completed. It also includes a risk analysis that quantifies the possible impact of the COVID-19 crisis on bank solvency. Since the previous FSAP in 2015, the Norwegian authorities have taken welcome steps to strengthen the financial system. Regulatory capital requirements for banks were raised and actions were taken to bolster the weak capital position of insurers. Alongside other macroprudential measures, temporary borrower-based measures for residential mortgages were introduced, which seem to have had some moderating impact on segments of the housing market. The resolution framework was also strengthened, with the implementation of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the designation of Finanstilsynet (FSA) as the resolution authority.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
While Norway’s institutional arrangement for macroprudential policy is uncommon, the authorities have shown strong willingness to act. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is the sole macroprudential decision-maker in Norway, which is rare in international comparison. However, Norges Bank and the Finanstilsynet (FSA) play important advisory roles. In recent years, the authorities have taken substantive and wide-ranging macroprudential policy actions in response to growing systemic vulnerabilities—and these seem to have been effective in slowing down some of the riskier trends. The macroprudential policy toolkit is well stocked and actively used.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Norwegian banks and other financial institutions rely heavily on capital markets for liquidity and risk management. Liquidity conditions in the Norwegian financial sector are affected by central bank operations and the lending and funding activities of financial institutions, both domestically and abroad. Nearly 40 percent of the funding of Norwegian banks is obtained from market sources, using commercial paper, covered bonds, and senior unsecured bonds issued both domestically and abroad. Correspondingly, money markets, foreign exchange (FX) swap markets and bond markets are crucial to the credit intermediation process and a dislocation in these markets—the inability of financial institutions to roll over, or obtain new, funding—could have significant consequences for financial stability. Against this background, this note analyzes core funding markets for Norwegian banks and assesses Norges Bank’s capacity to manage systemic liquidity conditions and counteract liquidity shocks in normal times and in times of stress.