What is money laundering
- Briefly explained, money laundering is an attempt to hide the fact that income stems from criminal activities.
- The purpose of money laundering is therefore often to disguise the source of income and to make illegally made money appear legitimate – making “black” money “white” so it can be spent freely.
- One method of money laundering is to channel money through a myriad of accounts and banks. Along the way the money may for instance be exchanged into another currency, lent to companies or spent on buying real property.
- When the money is ultimately deposited in an ordinary bank account, its origin from criminal activities is so difficult to trace that it appears to be legitimately earned money.
This is how Nordea fights money laundering
Our work to prevent money laundering starts even before we accept a new customer. To identify and to get to know our customers we ask a number of questions and require documentation. We must for instance make sure that they are who they claim to be. We also need to know the source of their money and how they expect to use their accounts. Based on this information we assess the financial crime risk associated with having them as customers. It is important for how we will later monitor their accounts. After the risk assessment, the ongoing monitoring by employees and IT systems starts.
If we detect something suspicious on the customer’s account, an alert will be triggered in the monitoring system or with the personal banking advisor. We investigate the matter by checking whether other account movements break the normal activity pattern. If we do not find a good explanation, and in case of further suspicion, we hand the case over to one of our specialist teams for a more detailed investigation. If this process confirms our suspicions, we report the case to the authorities and cooperate with them in the further investigation. In these types of cases we also consider whether we terminate the customer relationship.