Iceland, an island nation in the North Atlantic, has a resilient financial sector that has recovered from the severe crisis of 2008. The Icelandic financial system, comprising banks, insurance companies, and asset management firms, offers unique opportunities for foreign investors and international businesses. The country’s commitment to financial stability, transparency, and innovation, along with its strategic location between Europe and North America, makes it an attractive destination for companies seeking to establish or expand their presence in the region. Furthermore, Iceland’s skilled workforce, modern infrastructure, and adherence to international standards contribute to its appeal as a growing financial center.
Financial regulation in Iceland aims to ensure the stability, integrity, and efficiency of the financial system while protecting the interests of consumers and investors. The Icelandic regulatory framework is rooted in national legislation and shaped by international standards set by organizations such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Financial Action Task Force. This comprehensive approach to financial regulation enables Iceland to maintain a transparent and well-functioning financial market that fosters investor confidence and promotes economic growth. Icelandic regulatory authorities work collaboratively to oversee the various segments of the financial sector, coordinating efforts to identify and mitigate potential risks and ensure the overall stability of the financial system.
The main financial regulators in Iceland include:
Central Bank of Iceland (CBI): The CBI serves as the country’s central bank, responsible for maintaining monetary stability, ensuring the smooth functioning of the nation’s payment systems, and contributing to the formulation and implementation of macroprudential policy. The bank also plays a role in financial stability and supervises credit institutions, insurance companies, and other financial institutions.
Financial Supervisory Authority (FME): The FME oversees the operations of banks, insurance companies, pension funds, securities issuers, investment service providers, and asset management firms. Its main tasks include ensuring market integrity, transparency, and investor protection.
Directorate of Internal Revenue (DIR): The DIR is responsible for the collection of taxes and duties, as well as the supervision of financial entities concerning anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing. It cooperates with domestic and international partners to combat illicit financial activities.