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.

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 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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More information

Financial Supervisory AuthorityOpens new window

What kind of questions do we ask?

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) 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, Mobile Bank or at nordea.fi/ta.  

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 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.  

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

How to verify your identity at Nordea
Questions and answers

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) 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, Mobile Bank or at nordea.fi/ta.  

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 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.  

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

Questionnaire to customers

QuestionAnswer
Why do I get a request to verify my identity when I log in to Nordea Mobile?

As a bank, we are obliged to verify your identity from an official and undamaged identity document. This concerns both existing and new customers. Due to this obligation, we want to offer our customers an easy way to update their customer details and verify their identity. 

As of the autumn of 2019, you will be able to verify your identity in Nordea Mobile using an easy and fully automated self-service tool if you do not wish to do this at a Nordea branch. 

The tool asks you to take a picture of your identity document. You are also asked to follow the instructions to take a selfie video which will be compared to your identity document. 

Our automatic self-service tool will be gradually introduced to Nordea Mobile users whose customer details require updating. 

Do you ask all of your customers these questions?

Yes. We ask these questions of all our customers but we do it at different times. You and our other customers can help us prevent illegal activities by answering these questions.

Why do you ask these questions?

Security in banking is your most important right as a customer. This is why all Finnish banks are obliged by law to continuously update the information they have on their customers. We contact all our customers regularly to verify information related to their identity and banking. We do this to prevent any misuse and to ensure that all customer information we have is correct and up-to-date.

Nordea is trusted for its corporate social responsibility and we wish to keep this trust.

What is this information used for?

We use this information for getting to know our customers, their business and their need for our banking services. This will allow us to offer our customers services that best match their needs, to secure their financial interests and to detect any atypical or suspicious activity. 

We wish to protect our customers and the entire society. The requested information is updated in our customer information systems so that all information about you will be correct and up to date. Identification data and other personal data can be used for the purpose of preventing, investigating and uncovering money laundering and terrorist financing, and for raising an official investigation into money laundering or terrorist financing and the crime with which the property or the criminal benefit related to money laundering or terrorist financing was obtained.

Do I have to answer these questions?

Yes. All customers must answer these questions. As a bank and a responsible member of society, Nordea is obliged to ask these questions of 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 until you have completed it.

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.

If you answer the questions on the Internet, it is important that you save all the pages of the form. That way your information doesn't disappear if you do not complete all the questions during the first log-in. 

Reminders to complete the form will be sent out/posted if you have not completed the form.

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

We need your answers to these questions, so we attempt to contact you unless you have answered them. You may have many kinds of reasons for not answering them and therefore we want to contact you.

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. 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 all banks ask these kind of questions?

Yes. The law requires all banks to know their customers and that is why banks must obtain information about their customers. However, banks may do it differently and at different times. Still, the statutory obligations are the same for all banks.

Further information: www.finanssivalvonta.fiOpens new window

Can I answer the questions later?

You can answer the questions later, but we hope you would answer them within a couple of weeks to ensure smooth access to our banking services. If you have received a letter containing a personal code, please note that the code will be valid for 20 days.

Do you share this information with other banks?

No. The purpose of your answers is to make sure that all information on you is correct and up to date at Nordea. We also use the information in connection with statutory reporting.

Your information is treated as confidential and processed in compliance with bank secrecy and the General Data Protection Regulation.

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 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.

Why do you ask about my state of residence for tax purposes?

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 obligated to find out which country or countries are the customer's state of residence for tax purposes.

Why do you ask about my country of birth and citizenships?

The information on the country of birth and nationality is necessary for knowing 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 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.

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 to these questions deviate from what I actually do?

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 to collect additional information. In the event of discrepancies, you may be contacted to confirm that the provided information 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 only take you a few 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 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.

Read more www.finanssivalvonta.fiOpens new window

Why am I getting a letter when my wife got a prompt in the netbank and my father was interviewed in a branch office?

The inquiry is personal and it can be delivered to customers via different channels.