The objective of the Norwegian Banks' Guarantee Fund is to secure the deposit liability obligations of members under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
At the reporting date, the Guarantee Fund had a total equity of NOK 30.5 billion. This equals 2.66 per cent of the guaranteed deposits. All funds are invested in highly secure and liquid government bonds with high rating. The Fund's investments generated a return of NOK 436 million in 2015. Investment management is closely monitored to ensure that it is in line with the Fund's statutes and the frameworks established by the board.
In recent years, the Guarantee Fund has given a higher priority to crisis management and contingency planning, as well as initiatives to prepare for the new EU Deposit Guarantee Scheme-and Bank Recovery and Resolution directives. This is reflected in the Guarantee Fund's resource allocation and heightened focus on operational risk. The change of asset management model in 2013 has allowed more resources to be allocated to the Fund's core business and reduced the Fund's costs.
The Guarantee Fund has stepped up its participation in a number of international forums, including the IADI (International Association of Deposit Insurers), the EFDI (European Forum of Deposit Insurers) and the EBA (European Banking Authority). The Guarantee Fund has also reinforced its cooperation initiatives with the other Nordic countries.
The Fund implemented a number of projects in 2015 to improve the Fund's contingency planning. The Guarantee Fund has devoted significant resources to developing efficient electronic solutions to pay out guaranteed deposits within a deadline of one week in the event that a bank is placed under administration. The Fund will continue to develop and improve these solutions in 2016. During spring 2015, a contingency exercise was carried out together with Finance Norway, where the primary focus was on customer and media management, and interorganisational communications. Identified improvement points were jointly followed up with Finance Norway. As part of crisis contingency planning, together with the Guarantee Fund,the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (FSA) carried out inspections of selected banks concerning compliance with the Regulation on requirements for data systems and reporting to the Guarantee Fund. Initiatives to enhance and improve the efficiency of the Fund's crisis management and contingency planning will continue throughout 2016.