Nordea ‘underestimated systems needed’ for AML, says CEO
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BANKING

Nordea ‘underestimated systems needed’ for AML, says CEO

Casper von Koskull calls for a supranational anti-money laundering (AML) authority in Europe, while pushing the ECB to relax its dividend leash to boost strong banks.

Casper von Koskull, chief executive of Nordea, has admitted the risks of criminals using its network caught Scandinavia’s biggest bank off guard, as an AML scandal sweeps across the Nordic region.

The scandal – with reports highlighting billions of dollars of questionable money flows from the former Soviet Union – caught its second scalp last week, with the resignation of Swedbank chief executive Birgitte Bonnesen, six months after the resignation of Danske Bank chief executive Thomas Borgen.

Casper-von-Koskull Nordea-160x186

Casper von
Koskull, Nordea

“We were naive and complacent; we underestimated the complexity involved and the systems needed to deal with it,” says Von Koskull, while also calling for a new AML authority at a European level.

His comments came as part of Euromoney’s 50th anniversary coverage.

During the past three years, Von Koskull says Nordea, like other Nordic banks, has improved its AML systems, investing €730 million since 2015, while deploying 5% of its workforce on the problem and retraining others.

Von Koskull’s mandate, on becoming chief executive in 2015, was partly to invest in compliance systems.

Cooperation

Nevertheless, he warns more work is needed by banks and authorities, including cooperating better to prevent money laundering.

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