Nordea bank CEO calls for more int'l measures against money laundering

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HELSINKI, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Helsinki-based Nordea bank on Monday regretted that its "measures against money laundering had been insufficient earlier", after media revelation about suspicious transfers.

Finnish national broadvaster Yle reported that some 700 million euros (794 million U.S. dollars) with unclear origin had appeared in the accounts of Nordea bank in 2005-2015. Yle based its claim on material obtained by OCCRP, an organization of investigative reporters.

According to Finnish law, a bank must know the origin of deposits and also be aware of the real beneficiaries of its corporate customers.

Interviewed by Yle reporters, Nordea CEO Casper von Koskull said the bank had been "naive", but the "situation is different now". Koskull said the revelation had nothing new to him, but Yle reporters noted the claim was more recent than those reported earlier.

Koskull said some kind of European Union level international official should be established to prevent money laundering. "This is a global problem", he said.

Yle said Nordea had 300 "box companies" as its customers. It is impossible to trace back the real owners of such businesses. Yle said the companies had "ghost executives".

Earlier Nordea was caught of neglecting anti-money-laundering measures in Denmark. Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat quoted Koskull saying in late February to a Danish paper that Nordea would probably be fined in Denmark. In 2015 Nordea was fined in Sweden on money laundering issues.

Nordea used to maintain a unit for international customers in Denmark. The unit closed in 2014. The official investigation began in Denmark in 2016.

Nordea is the largest bank in the Nordic area. It transferred its domicile from Sweden to Finland last year.

Nordea stock value declined on Monday morning as Yle had begun promoting its upcoming news, to be on the air at 8 p.m. local time. The decline had been over six percent, but recovered to four percent by the end of the trading in Nasdaq Helsinki. Enditem

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