Know your customer (KYC) – why does the bank ask?

The banking business is based on confidence built upon good service, knowing the customers and correct decisions. We ask you questions on different matters because we want to know you and how you bank with us. When we know you, we will be able to give you good advice and offer you products and services suiting your needs.

Keeping your information up to date protects you: we want to safeguard corporations’ financial interests and protect them from illegal activity, such as identity thefts, hoaxes and phishing of information.

However, some of the questions are based on other reasons. Nordea is one of Europe's largest banks and we want to be socially responsible. Banks are subject to many laws including ones that seek to prevent, for example, money laundering, terrorism and financial crime.

The bank may also use, as applicable, the information provided by you in connection with the banking services for which we as a bank are obliged to obtain certain information about you, for example, to assess the suitability of an investment product or service for you. Then we will not have to ask you the same questions many times.

We always ask questions when establishing a new customer relationship, and after that we update the information regularly when a company representative or an entrepreneur contacts Nordea Business Centre (tel 0200 26262) or a branch. It is also possible that we call the customer or send the basic information form for the customer to fill in. The questions are the same as the ones asked at customer meetings.

Be alert when online

Make sure that the device you are using is protected, the antivirus software is updated and the firewall is in operation. Be alert when you are online and do not open e-mails or links from unknown sources. 

We would like to remind you once more that Nordea will never request your personal or corporate Netbank access codes or card information by e-mail or over the phone.

Why does the bank ask?

What kinds of questions do we ask?

The bank must have sufficient information on the owners of its corporate customers, the nature and extent of the business operations, payments, business partners, the company's financial position, the company's need for banking services and the purpose for which the banking services will be used. The bank may ask customers questions concerning, for example, account transactions volumes, their origin and purpose. We may need deeds of sale or other documents in addition to a written statement.

It is a statutory requirement that the bank receives information about the owners and beneficial owners of its corporate customers. In addition to ownership, a ‘beneficial owner’ refers to persons who hold control of the votes carried by the units or who otherwise exercise control. The bank must also know whether the representative or beneficial owner of a customer is a politically exposed person (PEP) or a family member or a close business partner of a PEP.

Questions and answers