Banking is based on trust built upon good service, knowing the customers and making the right decisions. We want to know our customers in order to be able to meet their needs as well as possible. Legislation also imposes the bank obligations relating to identifying and knowing its customers.
A corporate customer is identified on the basis of a document from a reliable source, such as an extract from the Trade Register. The extract from the Trade Register may not be more than 3 months old. In addition, the identity of the company’s representative is verified from identity documents accepted by the bank.
In addition to the details concerning identity, the bank must have sufficient information on the owners of the company, the nature and extent of the business operations, business partners, the company’s financial position, the company’s need for banking services and the purpose for which the banking services will be used. This is the reason why the bank may ask customers questions concerning not only their use of banking services, but also account transactions volumes, their origin and purpose.
Legislation requires the bank to investigate if the customer is a politically exposed person (PEP) or family member or a close business partner of a PEP. As far as our corporate customers are concerned, this means that we investigate whether the owners or representatives of a company are PEPs and hold such a position that it should be taken into account in the company’s banking. In addition, the bank has to identify the corporate customer’s beneficial owners, in other words, those private persons who own at least 25% of the company or otherwise exercise authoritative powers in the company. The bank must obtain these persons’ basic details and verify their identity from an identity document, if necessary.
If the bank does not obtain all necessary or sufficient information to establish a customer relationship or to support a business transaction, it shall subject to law refuse to establish a customer relationship or carry out a transaction. All documents provided to the bank by the customer will be treated confidentially in accordance with the Finnish bank secrecy regulations.