Know your customer – why does the bank ask?
Banking is based on trust. The ingredients of trust are good service, the right solutions and the fact that the bank knows its customers. We ask you questions on different matters because we want to know you and your life situation. When we know you, we will be able to give you good advice and offer you banking services suiting your needs.
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. The banks are subject to many laws including ones that seek to prevent, for example, money laundering, terrorism and white-collar crime.
We ask you questions when you become our customer and also after that when you visit our branches or do your banking via Netbank or over the phone with Nordea Customer Service 0200 70 000 or Nordea Business Centre 0200 26262.
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What kind of questions do we ask?
Banks have a statutory obligation to identify and know their customers. In addition to the personal details, the bank must have sufficient information on the customer's business, financial position and origin of funds. By giving us the information we request, you support our work against crime and bear your share of social responsibility. All information you give us is treated confidentially in accordance with the regulations on bank secrecy.
For example, we may ask you about the origin and purpose of the funds paid to your account, or why you want to use our services. When we are investigating the origin of the funds paid to your account, we may need deeds of sale or other documents in addition to a written statement.
We must also find out if you are a politically exposed person (PEP) in another country or if you are a family member or close business partner of a PEP. This does not mean that we are asking your political opinions.
We use various channels to acquire customer information
We ask for information about our customers and their banking through a number of different channels. We will approach some of our customers by letter or phone, and some will receive a questionnaire in Netbank or Mobile Bank.
Filling in the questionnaire in Netbank and Mobile Bank is secure, as it is done after identification. You can verify the security of the website and the SSL encryption in Netbank by clicking the padlock icon in the address bar at the top or bottom of the screen.
We will verify both the personal data and the information related to banking. The questions will concern, among other things, the recipient's citizenship, country of birth, country of taxation and the origin of funds received at Nordea. The questions are the same as the ones asked at customer meetings in branches.
We will approach some of our customers by letter or phone, and some will receive a questionnaire in Netbank, Mobile Bank or at nordea.fi/ta.
We would like to remind you once more that Nordea will never request your personal Netbank access codes, card information or personal identity number by e-mail or over the phone.
See also: questions and answers
Identity documents accepted by Nordea
The bank is obliged to verify the customer's identity from an official and undamaged identity document. This obligation concerns both existing and new customers.
Read more: Identity documents accepted in Nordea
Why do you ask these questions?
At Nordea, we are working actively to protect your financial interests. As a bank, our responsibility also includes counteracting illegal activities such as fraud attempts, ID theft, human trafficking, drug dealing, terrorist financing and financial crime like money laundering and tax evasion. To maintain confidence in Nordea as a responsible corporate citizen, it is crucial that we attend to this responsibility.
Do you ask all of your customers these questions?
Yes, we ask all our customers these questions, but we do not ask all our customers these questions at the same time.
What do you use this information for?
We use the information to get to know and understand our customers to be able to protect your financial interests and detect any possible illegal activity. This is to protect you as a customer, and the society in total. We know that most of our customers are honest.
The information is used to update our customer systems so that all information we have about you is correct and up-to-date.
Do I have to answer these questions?
Yes, all customers need to answer these questions. It is an obligation we have as a bank and as a responsible corporate citizen to ask all our customers these questions.
What happens if I do not answer the questions?
If you do not answer all the questions, ultimately we might not be permitted to provide you with a full range of our services, or give you the support that you need.
Will you be able to terminate my relationship with Nordea if I don’t answer these questions?
Since we need your answers to these questions we will try to contact you if you do not answer. It might be so that you have different reasons for not being able to answer the questions and that is why we want to get in contact with you.
If we do not succeed to get in contact with you, ultimately we might not be permitted to provide you with a full range of our services, or give you the support that you need.
Do all banks ask questions like this?
Yes, the authorities have obliged all banks to ask their customers these questions, but they might do it in different ways and at different times, but the requirements from the authorities are the same for all banks.
It is up to the banks themselves to determine how they obtain this information.
Can I answer at a later stage?
Yes, it can be done later. If you have received a letter with a personal code, it is valid for 30 days.
Do you share this information with other banks?
No. The responses will only be used to make sure that the information we have about you is correct and up-to-date, and in connection with statutory reporting.
The information you provide will be kept confidential in accordance with the bank's duty of confidentiality. We also comply with the Personal Data Act.
Can I change my answers?
If you need to correct or update your previous answers, please contact your Nordea branch office or you can call 0200 3000
How often will you ask me questions like this?
We need to ask you these questions on a regular basis since the authorities have obliged all Finnish banks to update their customer information.
Our main interest is to protect your financial interests and to protect you against illegal activities such as ID-theft, fraud and phishing. It is part of our responsibility as a bank and that is why we need to ask you these questions.
Why do you ask about in which country/countries I am tax residence?
CRS (Common Reporting Standard) is an international standard decided by OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) that covers automated exchange of information about financial accounts. More than 40 countries have signed this standard, including Finland and all the EU countries.
The standard means that financial institutions are obliged to gain knowledge about their customer’s taxable country/countries and to yearly report information about accounts owned by customers who are taxable in other countries/jurisdictions.
Why do you ask about my country of birth and citizenships?
This is a requirement from the authorities. As a bank we are required to know this about our customers.
How do I know that this letter/homepage is really from Nordea – and not a fraud/phishing attempt?
If you received a letter with a link and a personal code, make sure that you type the address to the web page yourself.
When you are logged into the netbank or have typed the address to the web page, you will see a padlock in the address field. This shows that you are on a secure page.
Before you complete the form you can check that your name and national identity number are filled in automatically.
If you are uncertain whether Nordea has contacted you, please contact us 0200 3000.
I feel that some of the questions are intruding my privacy, are you really allowed to ask me these questions?
It is our responsibility to have this knowledge about our customers. To maintain confidence in Nordea as a responsible corporate citizen, it is crucial that we attend to this responsibility.
We are obliged by the authorities to collect this information about our customers, and when you answer these questions you help us maintain our responsibility and fight illegal activities.
We know that almost all customers are honest, but in order to find the few that are not, we need to ask everybody questions without exception. It is important to know, that we do not ask these questions based on any suspicions against you.
I’ve been a customer for more than 10/20/30 years, why do I need to answer these questions now?
I know my banking advisor personally, why do you need this information?
The authorities have obliged all Finnish banks to update their customer information. Our main interest is to protect your financial interests and to protect you against illegal activities such as ID-theft, fraud and phishing. It is part of our responsibility as a bank and that is why we need to ask you these questions.
We ask all our customers, new and existing, these questions, regardless of how long they have been our customer.
The reason that we ask you these questions now is that the Finnish authorities and regulators have implemented stricter rules as to what kind of information financial institutions need to have about their customers.
Will you contact me if the answers to these questions deviate from what I actually do?
Our primary objective is to look after your economic interests. This includes protecting you against ID theft, attempted fraud/scams and other forms of economic crime.
Depending on your answers, we may need to collect additional information. In the event of discrepancies, you may be contacted to confirm that the provided information is correct
Will you use this information against me in future meetings with the bank?
Our main interest is to protect your financial interests and to protect you against illegal activities such as ID-theft, fraud and phishing.
That is why we might contact you if there are deviations between the answers you have given and what you actually do.
Our main reason for contacting you is to make sure that the information we have about you is correct and to update the information if it is not correct.
You have already asked me these questions xx weeks/months ago. Why do you ask them again?
If you have recently answered similar questions, we apologize, but please answer nevertheless. If you know all the answers, it should only take a couple of minutes.
I’m a customer in other banks as well, and they don’t do it this way. How can you say that all banks ask these questions?
The authorities have obliged all Finnish banks to update their customer information. The questions we ask you are to make sure that the information we have about you is correct and updated.
It is up to each bank to decide how and when to contact their customers, but the requirements from the authorities are the same for all banks.
Why am I getting a letter when my wife got a prompt in the netbank and my father was interviewed in a branch office?
We will ask the information in different ways, depending on how they use our services. We will contact our customers either in the netbank, in the mobile bank, by phone or by letters to make sure that the information that we have about you is correct and updated.
The letters are only sent to the customers who do not use our netbank or mobile services.