Norway is a country which is well for its rising economy and as a result, it is a preferred destination for expats and investors.
This country has attracting cities which brings people from all over the world. Norway stands as an amazing place for students, workers, retirees and investors. They also have a diverse culture that attracts numerous individuals to their territory.
So are you planning to move to Norway, you will definitely need a bank account to help you manage your finances once you are there and also to ease your transactions such as paying bills or buying goods and services online. So this is an article that will guide you on how to open a bank account in Norway.
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Banking System in Norway
The Norwegian banking sector is distinguished by a few large commercial banks, some regionally based, and several small savings banks. By the end of 2020, Norway had 134 banks operating, 118 of which were Norwegian and 16 of which were foreign branches.
Foreign bank subsidiaries and branches held a 24 percent and a 38 percent market share in the retail and domestic corporate markets, respectively.
In Norway, there also exist banks that provide online banking accounts and it is also possible to open an account online but you will need to liaise with a credit rating company such as Experian in order to process and then have your account approved.
Documents Necessary to Open a Bank Account in Norway
The process of opening a bank account in Norway is not that complicated as compared to some other nations. In order to open a bank account in Norway, you will first of all need to have a Norwegian National Identity Number and you are able to get it from the local tax assessment office if you wish to stay in the country for more than six months.
We cannot exactly say the complete documents that each bank in Norway will require from you due to the fact that every bank has its own additional requirement but below are the basic documents that most of the banks in Norway will require from you before opening a bank account with them:
- Passport photo
- recommendation letter from your home country bank
- A rental contract which will acts as a proof of residency
- Employment contract
In case you are opening a bank account online in Norway, you will be required to make an identity verification which is done when you have receive a letter from the bank. You are able to do this verification in a post office.
Banking Fees for Norwegian Banks
Aside from the Student's and children's accounts, all other accounts attract an annual VISA fee as seen below:
- Sparebanken Vest attracts 275 NOK and 200 NOK for Visa Electron
- DNK: 275 NOK for VISA and no charges for Mastercard accounts
- Nordea attracts a VISA fee of 300 NOK
- Danske Bank attracts 300 NOK VISA fee
It is necessary you have at the back of your mind that normal accounts do not attract monthly fees but reward accounts attract monthly payments that comes with additional perks such as airport lounge and travel insurance.
Withdrawing money from rival bank ATMs costs between 7 and 10 NOK. DNB charges 10 NOK for ATM withdrawals and 40 NOK plus 1% of the withdrawal amount if you use a MasterCard.
International Money transfer Charges in Norway
It is of no doubt that sending money abroad is prohibitively expensive. DNB is the cheapest for international transfers, with a rate of 1.95 percent. Other banks charge between 0.5 and 1 percent, exclusive of additional fees, which can range from 20 to 30 NOK.
The exchange rate is usually very low, and currency conversion incurs additional fees. When sending money abroad, you can use TransferWise as an alternative. TransferWise provides real-time mid-market exchange rates. When compared to banks, their transparent fees are significantly lower.
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How to Open a Bank Account as non Resident in Norway
It is possible to open a bank account as a non resident in Norway but however, there are some requirements which is an obligation that you adhere to like for instance, you must be from Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Iceland, SA, Singapore or be an EU citizen.
If you are eligible to open an account, you are then prompted to deposit 100,000 euros and it takes around 6 weeks to have this account processed. In other to get more information about this bank account, you can access the Service Center for Foreign Workers.
Best Banks in Norway
The nation Norway is made up of both local and international banks and below, I will provide you with some of the banks that you can consider opening an account with in Norway.
1. Nordea Bank
Nordea Bank. In Norway, Nordea bank actually stands as the bank with the largest network of ATMs and branches across the territory with more than 240 branches and 233 ATMs in Norway. With Nordea bank, you have various offers for different groups like for instance, they have accounts for youth, children, current and savings account. The youth and children account comes with a Zero account fee as it is for most of the banks.
More to that, this bank has the best customer service chat. You can create a personal or business account, and their app is available in English. Their fees are available online.
Their website is not in English, but you can use their online services by using Google Translate. If you have a Bank ID, you can open an account online.
Skandia bank as an amazing full online service available in English and you can also access most of their services online whilst their prices are also made available online. You are also able to apply for a mortgage online and several other services via Skandia Banken.
3. Bank Norwegian
Bank Norwegian is primarily an online bank, with the majority of its services available online. You can open an account and view their charges online. You can also apply for a mortgage, obtain credit, and conduct other transactions online. However, their website is only available in Norwegian.
4. Danske Bank
Danske bank also has a wide network of ATMs and branches in Norway and they offer 3 types of current accounts which include Basic account which often comes with a VISA for 300 NOK per year, Gold Reward account which comes with a credit card and a travel insurance.
Platinum Reward Card, which includes all of the benefits of the other current accounts as well as free access to an airport lounge. Visa fees are not applied to Gold or Platinum accounts. Instead, they charge a monthly fee ranging from 50 to 75 NOK. The bank offers various types of savings accounts as well as a free student account. Regrettably, the bank does not provide a business account.
DNB bank is a bank in Norway that has 18 branches and 47 ATMs in the country and they have a current account known as a silver card, which comes with a VISA Card, mobile and internet banking. They have a SAGA current account as well as a savings account. The account includes a free financial advisor as well as travel insurance. Insurance is essential for people who wish to travel back to their home country on a regular basis.
There are also accounts for teenagers and students. You can open a business account with them if you own a company. Its website is in English, and if you have a Bank ID, you can use it to open an account online.
6. Sparebanken Vest
Sparebanken Vest provides current accounts, student accounts, and business accounts. It does not, however, offer a savings account. They offer a VISA Smart current account through which you can make online payments and cash withdrawals.
If you have a Bank ID, you can open an account online. Every year, a Visa Card fee of 275 NOK is applied to the current account. Their credit card includes complimentary travel insurance.
Why You Should Get a Norwegian Bank Account
If you intend to stay in Norway for more than six months, opening a Norwegian bank account may be advantageous.
This will make money transfers and deposits, as well as payments, much easier. This is especially true if you are to be paid by a Norwegian employer.
Because of money laundering concerns, transferring and processing money transfers across national borders is subject to regulations.
You can also get BankID as a holder of a Norwegian bank account, which is a very convenient electronic identification service.
It not only allows you to safely log into your bank account, but it also allows you to easily confirm online purchases and identify yourself on a variety of public and private services (tax authorities, public health sector, etc).
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Final Thoughts on How to Open a Bank Account in Norway
Norway is a country which is well for its rising economy and as a result, it is a preferred destination for expats and investors. This country has attracting cities which brings people from all over the world.
Norway stands as an amazing place for students, workers, retirees and investors. They also have a diverse culture that attracts numerous individuals to their territory.
So if you want to open a bank account in Norway, it is left over to you to select the particular bank that suits you best and then try to enquire more about the bank before starting the process of opening a bank account with them so as to avoid losing your money and some regrets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a US citizen open a Norwegian bank account?
Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Norway as a non-resident but it can only be a savings account and there are many rules to follow such as you must be a EU citizen or a citizen from SA, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand and Singapore.
What do I need to open a bank account in Norway?
Passport. Passport photo. Norwegian National Identity Number or D-Number. Proof of Norwegian address (utility bill or rental contract) Proof of employment or school enrollment.
How do I get a Norwegian D number?
If you need and have the right to receive a D number, the organization that you're in contact with will order it for you. For example, if you apply for a tax deduction card, the Tax Administration will order a D number for you.
Can foreigners open a bank account in Norway?
You can also open a bank account online. You will need a Bank ID which you can get by presenting your passport and D-Number / National Identity Number to your chosen bank. Once you are issued your Bank ID you will be able to open your account online.
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