Scandinavia’s top financial institution has learned the hard way after Sweden’s financial regulator uncovered major anti-money laundering deficiencies in its processes. Nordea Bank AB, Scandinavia’s biggest bank was fined 50 million-krona ($5.9 million) fine in May for anti-money laundering failures, says a recent Bloomberg Bloomberg report.
The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority said that Nordea’s compliance program did not have the right protocols in place to detect and prevent money laundering to fund terrorist organizations. The million-dollar fine imposed by the Swedish regulator went down in history as the maximum fine for money laundering breaches in the country.
In an effort to regain financial stability and rebuild public trust, Nordea is adding more staff to its compliance function and is seeking potential candidates to oversee its Nordic Anti-Money Laundering Solutions unit, which currently consists of 28 employees. Among the positions available are fraud specialists, investigators and other AML experts. In the bank’s second-quarter report on July 16, it said to be “consistently increasing” investments to promote “a strong compliance culture,” the Bloomberg article outlines.
It is evident by the fine imposed by the Swedish regulator that anti-money laundering compliance remains a serious issue. Even though schemes of this nature can be very complex and difficult to detect, Nordea is looking to re-establish its AML program to avoid making the same mistakes which resulted in a $5.9 million in fine and a warning from the watchdog.
But this is not the first time that the bank was in hot water with regulators. In 2013, Nordea was fined 30 million crowns (over $3 million) for deficiencies in its handling of EU sanctions regulations and its failures to prevent money laundering.