Setting up a bank account

You’ll find the Norwegian financial system to be advanced, cheap, and fast overall. The country has long gone down the route of digitization, and cash is rarely used these days. So, once you’re in the banking system everything just works.

However, getting into the Norwegian banking system as a foreigner is not so straightforward, especially for those coming from non-EU countries. Instead, you’ll find getting started is rather old-fashioned and can be very slow. It typically takes anywhere from six to eight weeks to get fully set up, with lots of paperwork and several in-person trips to the bank. Once you’ve done that, it’ll probably be the last time you have to visit a bank. Everything else is online or in an app.

The largest bank in Norway is DNB, and it’s the one generally used by expats. There is also SpareBank 1 as another option.

If you need access to Norwegian banking faster, or need accounts in several countries, I recommend using

It offers the best rates for currency conversion and allows you to open accounts in multiple denominations including Norwegian kroner (NOK).

The banking sector in Norway is a robust and well-regulated industry, playing a vital role in the country’s financial stability and economic development. Norway boasts several major banks that provide a wide range of financial services to individuals and businesses. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the major banks in Norway, their roles, and their impact on the Norwegian economy.

  1. DNB ASA (DnB)

DNB ASA, often referred to as DnB, is the largest and most prominent financial institution in Norway. It has a history dating back to 1822 and is headquartered in Oslo. DnB offers a comprehensive suite of financial services, including retail and corporate banking, asset management, insurance, and investment banking. It has a strong presence in both domestic and international markets and plays a pivotal role in supporting the Norwegian economy.

  1. Nordea Bank

Nordea Bank is another significant player in the Norwegian banking landscape. While it is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, it maintains a substantial presence in Norway. Nordea is known for its retail and corporate banking services and is one of the largest banks in the Nordic region, serving millions of customers.

  1. SpareBank 1 Alliance

The SpareBank 1 Alliance is a consortium of independent savings banks located throughout Norway. These regional banks operate under the common SpareBank 1 brand, offering retail and corporate banking services tailored to their respective local markets. The alliance provides a network of financial institutions that serve a diverse range of customer needs across the country.

  1. Danske Bank

Danske Bank, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, has a presence in Norway through its subsidiary, Danske Bank Norway. It provides a range of banking services, including retail banking, corporate banking, asset management, and investment services. The bank caters to both individual and corporate clients.

  1. Handelsbanken

Svenska Handelsbanken, commonly known as Handelsbanken, is a Swedish bank with a well-established presence in Norway. The bank offers services that encompass corporate and retail banking, wealth management, and financial advisory services. Handelsbanken has a decentralized structure that empowers local branches to make decisions in line with their customers’ needs.

  1. Santander Consumer Bank

Santander Consumer Bank is a subsidiary of Banco Santander, a Spanish multinational bank. It operates in Norway, providing consumer finance and lending services. The bank specializes in offering various loan and credit products, such as personal loans and car financing, to individual customers.

  1. Storebrand Bank

Storebrand Bank is part of the Storebrand Group, a Norwegian financial services conglomerate. It focuses on providing life insurance, pension products, and asset management services. Storebrand Bank plays a significant role in helping Norwegians plan for their financial futures.


The major banks in Norway collectively form a robust and diverse financial sector, catering to the diverse needs of the Norwegian population and contributing to the nation’s economic stability and growth. These banks provide essential services to individuals and businesses, from everyday banking needs to complex financial solutions. The strength and stability of the Norwegian banking system are pivotal to the country’s economic well-being and overall prosperity.

Getting Settled in Norway

One you arrive in Norway here is a few things to start getting setup so you can get settled.

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