The banking system has a core role to play in society’s prevention of – and fight against – financial crime. “Organised financial crime undermines legitimate economic actors and strengthens the shadow economy, thus diminishing economic growth and public resources,” wrote the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the subject.
Strong financial crime management practices are one of the most powerful devices against financial crime. They can prevent, disclose and help to identify corrupt practices and the people behind such activities.
The main forms of financial crime which we have identified as having a significant impact on society – and which we can work to prevent – are:
- Money laundering
- Terrorist financing
- Sanctions risk management
How we prevent financial crime
We take the prevention of financial crime extremely seriously, and our efforts are threefold:
- Managing the risks of financial crime. Nordea Group Compliance is responsible for setting the Group level framework. The Financial Crime Compliance unit in Group Compliance coordinates the support and gives advice to Management, Compliance Officers and Operational Risk Officers
- Having clear policies and instructions in place
- Raising awareness among our staff through training. We have e-learning modules on compliance and knowing-your-customer issues that are directed at all employees with participation mandatory and monitored
Cyberterrorism has become a growing threat, one we take seriously. To combat it, we coordinate our efforts internally, work with other banks across Europe and take advice from specialists in this area. We now have a layered security approach, ensuring that a single point of failure would not compromise our whole system.
In the past few years, we have seen a change from general, broad malware attacks to social engineering and ID theft, often targeted at specific individuals. We are also starting to see attacks on mobile phones and tablets as online banking moves in that direction. We expect that mobile will be the new battlefield in the years ahead.
As the criminals advance in their methods, we need to get smarter in our use of IT systems to tackle cybercrime. Our aim is to stop fraud before it has been executed. To do this, we need advanced IT systems that can make real-time risk assessments and raise alarms if necessary. Where transactions are considered higher than normal risk, we ask for extra verification. This can be in the form of an SMS to the customer's pre-registered mobile phone number asking the customer to confirm the transaction, and if not, to contact the bank's support line.
Moving forward, we will continue to invest in IT solutions to address the growing risks of cybercrime.