Finance and Capital Markets | New rules for cross-border provision of investment services into Norway
On 11 September 2023, the Ministry of Finance announced a new permanent regime enabling third-country firms to provide investment services on cross-border basis to eligible counterparties located in Norway. The new regime is effective immediately and will replace the temporary regulation implemented as a response to Brexit (the Brexit Regulation) under which UK firms were allowed to continue providing investment services to Norwegian per se professional clients and eligible counterparties for a transition period after Brexit. The new regime applies to all third-country firms, and not only those established in the UK as per the Brexit Regulation.
Unlike the Brexit Regulation, however, the new regulation is limited to eligible counterparties only (which shall include Bankenes Sikringsfond, the operator of the Norwegian Deposit Guarantee Scheme). Consequently, third-country firms seeking to provide investment services on a cross-border basis to other categories of clients located in Norway will need to rely on reverse solicitation or an equivalence decision under MiFIR (if and when available).
During the public hearing of the new regime, several interested parties raised concerns about restricting professional clients’ access to investment services from firms outside the EEA, particularly from the UK. Several interested parties submitted that the new regime should also permit services to be provided to per se professional clients, or in the alternative that a simplified registration/licensing regime should be introduced for third-country firms intending to serve per se professional clients located in Norway. Despite the concerns raised during the hearing and the suggestions to remedy these, the Ministry of Finance has chosen to limit the scope of the new regime to eligible counterparties only.
For more details, see also our previous newsletter here.