AML in Norway

Norway stands as one of the globe’s least corrupt nations, conducting business with a high degree of transparency. Corruption scarcely poses an impediment to trade or investment, as instances of administrative corruption and minor bribes are nearly non-existent. The Norwegian Penal Code encompasses provisions against active and passive bribery, influence peddling, fraud, extortion, breach of trust, and money laundering. This legal framework is applicable to individuals registered in Norway, and violations can result in penalties of up to ten years of imprisonment, even if the acts are committed outside the boundaries of Norway.

Anti-money laundering (AML) initiatives extend their influence across all Scandinavian nations. A spectrum of entities, including banks, mortgage companies, insurance providers, auditors, accountants, real estate agencies, and legal firms, are mandated to adhere to the recently established regulations. These obligated entities are required to adopt various precautionary measures to prevent potential misuse by illicit entities. In Norway, this culminated in the introduction of a fresh Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Act in 2018, emphasizing the obligation to report any such illicit activities.

Central to Norway’s AML legislation is the Anti-Money Laundering Act (2018), serving as the principal legal instrument. This legislation aligns with the AML standards set forth by the EU’s Fourth and subsequent Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives (4AMLD and 5AMLD), as well as those established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Act encompasses the following categories of Norwegian institutions:

1. Providers of banking and credit services
2. Financing entities
3. Payment service providers
4. Holding companies
5. Insurance and pension funds
6. Electronic money providers

In accordance with the mandates of both 4AMLD and 5AMLD, obliged entities within Norway are required to institute AML procedures to effectively counteract the criminal risks linked to cryptocurrencies. Addressing this imperative, the Norwegian Anti-Money Laundering Act subjects financial institutions offering cryptocurrency services to regulatory oversight by the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA). Additionally, it introduces heightened reporting obligations for crypto storage and exchange services.

In 1986, the Norwegian Insurance Council, the Bank Inspection Body, and the Broker Control Agency merged, forming the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), an independent governmental entity. Up until 2009, the FSA was formally referred to as the Credit Supervisory Authority (Kredittilsynet). Headquartered in Oslo, the FSA operates under the oversight of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and is currently under the leadership of Finn Arnesen.

The FSA’s primary mission revolves around fostering financial stability and the effective functioning of markets within Norway. It also engages in collaboration with international regulatory bodies, ensuring the efficient implementation of legislation relevant to EEA member states within the nation’s borders.