06-02-2023 15:00

Dedicated to combatting financial crime

Financial crime is a challenge that exists in society and is often closely connected to illegal activities like bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing. Nordea is committed to fighting financial crime and protecting our customers. We are investing in new technologies and additional resources to further strengthen our work to fight financial crime.

Our focus and investments reflect our commitment to continuously improve our defence against financial crime and to adapt to new and emerging risks in the external environment. 

“At Nordea, we do our utmost to ensure that our resources, products and services are not used to facilitate financial crime or any other illegal activities,” says Karen Tyler, Head of Group Financial Crime Prevention. “We have lately recruited more financial crime specialists to strengthen the area and now have around 2,600 colleagues working solely with preventing financial crime,” she adds.

Financial crime ranges from basic theft or fraud committed by individuals to large-scale operations organised by criminal networks transcending national borders. Such activities can often be related to human trafficking, drug sales, terrorism and corruption and the societal and economic consequences are often profoundly serious for both individuals and whole societies. This is why Nordea and other financial institutions want to carry their responsibility and be part of the solution.

Since 2015 Nordea has spent more than 1.5bn euros on financial crime prevention and all employees are trained in financial crime risks and Nordea’s programme on a regular basis. In 2022 we added an investment of 50m euros to further increase our financial crime prevention capabilities and to make our IT infrastructure even more resilient.

Did you know?

That we monitor more than

3 billion

transactions every year

“Banking services are digital and we handle several billions of transactions every year on behalf of our customers. In order to monitor such high volumes and detect potential illegal activities, we continue to invest heavily in financial crime prevention tools,” Karen Tyler explains.

One part of the monitoring is screening against relevant sanctions lists. The screening takes place as part of the customer onboarding process and subsequently on an ongoing basis. Another important part is the identification of any unusual activities, patterns or irregularities. If anything out of the ordinary is detected, it will trigger internal alerts and investigations. A high number of cases are reported to relevant authorities every year.

“We do not accept being used for money laundering or other financial crime. Nordea takes its share of responsibility to society and customers seriously, and over the years we have built strong defences to prevent our products and services from being used for unlawful purposes and will continue to do so,” Karen Tyler concludes. 

Our three lines of defence

Nordea has established three lines of defences to strengthen the organisation. Each has a defined role in our financial crime risk management and internal controls.

Daily risk management, operations and development
Our customer-facing employees and expert units form the first line of defence. They are responsible for daily risk management and for carrying out every day work based on Nordea's policies, instructions and guidelines in relation to managing the risk of financial crime.

Compliance and risk
The second line of defence consists of our compliance and risk functions. These functions ensure we conduct business in accordance with applicable laws, rules and standards.

Internal audit
The third line of defence is our Internal Audit function. Internal Audit performs independent assurance activities to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of governance, risk management and control processes to support Nordea’s board and senior management in protecting assets, reputation and sustainability.

Read more about our defence lines
About us