RiskFinancial CrimeNordea faces money-laundering probe by Danish police

Nordea faces money-laundering probe by Danish police

Scandinavia’s biggest bank says it is cooperating with the authorities after an inspection by the regulator revealed failings.

Nordea said that a June 2015 investigation by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA) into the bank’s compliance with anti- money laundering (AML) regulation has been referred to the police for further handling and possible sanctions.

In a statement, Scandinavia’s biggest bank said: “The findings reported by the DFSA are related to our earlier reported deficiencies in this area and an expected possible outcome of ongoing investigations as communicated in the financial reporting for the first quarter 2016.”

“We want to emphasise that having deficiencies in any area is unacceptable to us,” said the group’s chief executive officer (CEO Casper von Koskull. “Our customers and partners should expect us to follow the regulations and becoming compliant is an absolute top priority for Nordea. We realise that we initially underestimated the complexity and the time it takes to change our procedures.

“However, the deficiencies within AML are known to us and we have in close dialogue with the authorities addressed these in the action plan that we launched last spring. We are strongly committed to closing all potential gaps.”

In spring 2015, Sweden’s financial supervisory authority – Finansinspektionen – found “major deficiencies” in Nordea’s efforts to ensure its services weren’t abused by potential criminals and terrorists seeking to cover their financial tracks. The bank received a fine of 50m kroner, or US$6m; maximum fine that can be imposed for such breaches under Swedish law.

Nordea subsequently formed a financial crime change programme last June to focus on ensuring robust group wide standards and processes. As part of this it consolidated the majority of all first line of defence AML activities relating to know-your-customer (KYC), sanctions screening and transaction monitoring in a central unit.

“As of today in total 850 full-time employees are focusing on these tasks with the aim to be around 1,150 by the end of this year,” said Nordea. “The compliance area is expected to grow even further.”

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