Opening a bank account should be one of your top priorities upon arrival in Norway, especially if your stay exceeds six months. Access to a Norwegian bank account will enable you to receive salary payments and handle your finances in a safe and efficient way.
- The two largest banks in Norway are:
- Both banks have English websites, but DnB is currently the only bank that provides Internet Banking in English.
- The website of the Norwegian Savings Banks Association (sparebankforeningen.no) provides a full list of the 123 savings banks in the country.
Opening a bank account
- To open a bank account in Norway you need a national identity number. Note that the case processing time for national identity numbers is about two weeks, provided you have completed the EU/EEA registration or visa/residence permit process.
- Bring the following documents to the branch of the bank you wish to open an account:
- National ID-number
- Employment contract
- Note: Special procedures apply when opening a bank account with DnB (dnb.no). The processing time is about 1 month.
- Internet Banking
Internet banking is the easiest way to transfer money and pay bills and is therefore recommended.
Cheques are no longer in common use in Norway. However, UiO pays the salary to international employees by cheque until s/he has opened a bank account in Norway.
The closest bank to cash a cheque is the Post Office at Majorstuen (posten.no) (Norwegian).
Giros serve as an alternative or a supplement to internet banking in regard to non-cash remote payment. The Giro resembles a cheque and is often attached to a paper bill. The bank clears the Giro and makes the deposit to the payee’s account once you hand it in to them either on paper or online via the Internet access to your account.
- Debit Card
Banks offer either an ordinary magnetic-stripe bank account debit card that can be used at any Cashpoint (ATM) or Point of Sale terminal in the country, or you will be offered an international debit card, such as Visa.
Any debit card also serves as an identity card in Norway, as it has your photograph, National ID-number and signature printed on it.
- Credit Card
Most banks also offer a credit card, such as Mastercard.
Bank deposit insurance
- Bank deposits in the Norwewgian banking system are guaranteed through a very solid deposit guarantee scheme.
- All deposits in any account are guaranteed up to the amount of NOK 2 million (not including interest earned). The guarantee is valid for all banks, also the foreign owned banks like Nordea, Fokus Bank, SEB Privatbanken and Glitnir. However, banks with different names but with the same owners, count as the same bank when it comes to the insurance scheme coverage.
- The deposit guarantee does not include shares and other investments. For detailed information please visit the website of the Norwegian Banks' Guarantee Fund (bankenessikringsfond.no).