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 also 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? Questions and answers 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

Questions and answers

QuestionAnswer

Do you ask these questions from all your customers?

Yes. We already ask these questions from all our customers when establishing their customer relationships. The information is also checked and updated during the customer relationship, so we don't ask the questions from everybody at the same time. The information paves the way for a confidential banking relationship, and knowing customers is an important part of the statutory obligations that the bank must fulfil in order to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. You and our other customers can help us combat illegal activities by answering these questions. .

Why do you ask such questions?

All Finnish banks have a statutory obligation to know their customers and thus participate in bearing corporate social responsibility. Above all, we want to secure corporations’ financial interests. We at Nordea work actively in order to safeguard your economic interests. Banks are subject to the reporting obligation and thus play a key role in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. Prevention of money laundering is an important part of the combat against such organised crime as human trafficking, drug trade and terrorism because the benefits gained from crime can be used to finance new illegal activities. Nordea is trusted for its corporate social responsibility. We wish to keep this trust. We take our responsibility seriously and are obliged to know how our customers use the bank’s products and services. Ultimately, this is a question of statutory requirements, i.e. we are obliged to obtain this information on our customers.

What is this information used for?

We use this information for getting to know our customers and to understand their activities and use of our services. Thus we can safeguard their economic interests and detect unusual use of our services and possibly illegal activity. We wish to protect our customers and the entire society. We know that most of our customers are honest. This information is updated in our customer systems so that all information about you will be correct and up to date. The Know Your Customer information and other personal information may be used for preventing and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing, and for raising an official investigation into the terrorist financing and the crime with which the property or the criminal benefit related to money laundering or terrorist financing has been obtained.

Do I have to answer all these questions?

Yes, all customers must answer these questions. As a bank and a reliable social player, Nordea is obliged to ask these questions from all its customers. If you answer the questions on the Internet, it is important that you save all the pages of the form. This prevents the information from getting lost even if you did not answer all the questions during your first login. Reminders of filling in the form will be sent to you unless you have not completed it.

Do all banks ask these kinds of questions?

Yes, the law requires all banks to ask their customers information related to identifying and knowing them. However, banks may do it differently and at different times. Still, the obligations of knowing customers and the instructions and orders by the authorities are the same for all banks. Banks may decide themselves how they acquire this information. Further information www.finanssivalvonta.fiOpens new window

Will you end my customer relationship with Nordea if I do not answer these questions?

We need your answers to these questions. You may have many kinds of reasons for not answering them. If you have not answered the questions, we attempt to contact you in order to find out why you have not been able to answer them. If we cannot reach you, it may ultimately lead to a situation in which we no longer can provide you with our services or give you the advice you need. It is also possible that the customer relationship is terminated completely. In accordance with the law, the bank may not establish a customer relationship, execute a business measure, realise a payment transaction through a payment account or maintain a business relationship if it cannot implement the statutory measures for knowing its customers.

Do you share this information with other banks?

No. With your answers, we only make sure that all information on you is correct and up to date at Nordea. Moreover, we use the information in connection with statutory reporting. We handle your information confidentially in compliance with bank secrecy and the Finnish Personal Data Act.

How often do you ask these kinds of questions?

We have to ask these questions at regular intervals because the legislation requires all Finnish banks to update their customer information. Nordea bears its corporate social responsibility by maintaining sufficient and up-to-date information in order to know its customers.

The bank asks many kinds of questions about the company's business partners, responsible persons and payments – why?

Legislation requires all Finnish banks to update their customer information regularly. The information on a company’s business partners, responsible persons and payments is necessary for knowing our customers. We want to safeguard corporations’ financial interests and protect them from illegal activity, such as identity thefts, hoaxes and phishing of information. This is part of our responsibilities as a bank and this is why we must ask these questions.

I have been Nordea’s customer for over 10/20/30 years. 

Why do I have to answer these questions now? I know my contact person at the bank personally. 

Why do you need this information? There have been no changes in my customer information since I became Nordea’s customer. Do I still have to answer these questions?

The legislation requires all Finnish banks to update their customer information regularly. Above all, we want to secure your financial interests and protect you from any illegal activity. Nordea bears its corporate social responsibility by maintaining sufficient and up-to-date information in order to know its customers. This information is updated in our customer systems so that all information about you and the corporation you represent will be correct and up to date. We ask these questions from all new customers and our current customers regardless of how long they have been our customers.

Will you contact me if the answers I give to these questions do not correspond to the actual state of affairs?

Our most important goal is to take care of your economic interests. Nordea bears its corporate social responsibility by maintaining sufficient and up-to-date information in order to know its customers. Depending on your answers, we may need additional information. If the information is contradictory, we may contact you to make sure that the information you have provided is correct.

You already asked these same questions last year. Why are you asking them again?

We apologise if you have had to answer similar questions recently. Nevertheless, please answer the questions this time, too. If you know all the answers, it will not take long for you to update the information.

I am also other banks’ customer and they do not act in this way. How can you say that all banks ask these kinds of questions?

The legislation requires all Finnish banks to update their customer information regularly. We ask these questions to make sure that your customer information is correct and up-to-date. Each bank decides on how and when it contacts its customers and the questions may slightly differ from each other. Still, the statutory obligations are the same for all banks.

Further information www.finanssivalvonta.fiOpens new window