COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- The deputy governor of Norway’s central bank is stepping down with immediate effect after he was not granted a new security clearance because he has ties to China via his wife.
The move comes at at time when several Western governments are tightening security controls against potential influence from China, particularly in technology, finance and other corporate sectors.
“The Norwegian Civil Security Clearance Authority informs me that the reason that I will not receive a renewed security clearance is that my wife is a Chinese citizen and resides in China, where I support her financially,” Jon Nicolaisen said in a statement on Friday.
It was unclear if Nicolaisen's wife has any ties to the Chinese government or other interests. The Norges Bank governor, Oeystein Olsen, said they had taken note of the decision and that Nicolaisen had ”performed his duties superbly as a close colleague and competent professional.”
Nicolaisen was appointed in 2014 and reappointed April 1, 2020, when he was given special responsibility for managing the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, worth $1.2 trillion.