Strong European influence
As a member of the Eueopean Economic Area, EEA (EU and EFTA countries), all EU commercial legislation and incentives take effect in Iceland.

Structural and legislative reforms, along with the expansion in financial services and activity that they have engendered, have made Iceland’s financial system more international in character and broadly on a par with European norms. Under its obligation to transpose into national law all existing and future EU legislation in the field of financial services, Iceland has implemented all the EC directives on banking, insurance and securities trading whose general objective is to accomplish an integrated European market for financial services, in particular with respect to the right of establishment, provision of services, prudential rules and capital movements. Furthermore, the Icelandic authorities, in close cooperation with market participants, have been implementing policy objectives and specific measures on the basis of the EU’s Financial Services Action Plan aimed at enhancing harmonisation, competition and effectiveness of financial services, payment systems and electronic commerce throughout Europe.

The legislation and regulations regarding credit institutions and other financial institutions in Iceland have thus been adapted to the various regulations and directives of the European Union.

The current rules on capital adequacy for credit institutions and securities firms are based on the Basel Guidelines and the EU Capital Adequacy Directive, with a minimum capital ratio of 16 percent.

According to rules imposed by the Central Bank, commercial and savings banks are limited in their foreign exchange exposure to 30 percent of equity as defined by the Capital Adequacy Rules (CAD) rules. The same applies to indexed assets and liabilities.

Through the links below it is possible to get a quick overview of the main regulations in the Icelandic financial market.