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Banks and the National Bureau of Investigation ramp up their cooperation in anti-money laundering

Increased cooperation will improve information sharing and anti-money laundering processes. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) steps up its cooperative efforts with the Finnish banking sector to prevent money laundering. This public-private partnership aims to improve information exchange and anti-money laundering processes as part of the Finnish Government’s comprehensive action plan to tackle the grey economy and economic crime.

Jaakko Christensen, Head of Financial Intelligence Unit at the NBI, says the objective of the cooperation is to monitor current and new typologies and risks in money laundering and terrorist financing through more efficient exchange of information between the NBI’s Financial Intelligence Unit and banks. 

Legislation clearly defines the types of information that banks may exchange with the authorities and other banks. For example, the exchange of personal or corporate information is prohibited, but some situations may allow for the exchange of information on suspicious money transfers. 

Individual banks’ leeway for information exchange is narrow, however – if a bank detects a suspicious money transfer, it may not share this information with another bank, even if this information would be helpful against money laundering. Christensen points out that the Finnish Government is planning to review and reform the relevant legislation in the future.

Mika Linna, head of financial crime and cybersecurity at FFI, is pleased with these plans. “The financial sector has been hoping for this kind of cooperation for a long time. The sector already has an established partnership with the Finnish police to prevent property crime, cybercrime and fraud. Closer cooperation will surely bring better results in this front, as well”, Linna concludes.


More on the Government's action plan: press release