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STOCKHOLM, March 8 (Reuters) - Finland’s financial watchdog said on Wednesday it had fined Nordic banking group Nordea 1 million euros ($1.1 million) for not obtaining enough information from elderly private investors before offering investment advice.
Nordea has had a number of run-ins with the financial authorities in recent years. It was the Nordic bank named most in the Panama Papers and admitted at the time it had not always done enough to safeguard fully against crimes such as money laundering.
The fine for Nordea followed an inspection of how banks sold investment fund products to non-professional customers over 70.
The FSA said Nordea failed to obtain adequate information of customers’ investment objectives and experience, and also found shortcomings in documentation of client information.
“Moreover, in its investment advice, Nordea had failed to identify and prevent conflicts of interest,” the watchdog said in a statement.
Nordea said the problems related to a small number of cases and that it had always operated in clients’ best interests.
“In our view, the Financial Supervisory Authority has not sufficiently taken into consideration the improvements to investment advice already made and in progress at Nordea, or the fact that the deficiencies were not wilful,” Nordea said in a statement.
In May 2015, Sweden’s financial watchdog fined Nordea 50 million crowns ($5.54 million) - the maximum possible - for deficiencies in its approach to tackling money laundering.
The Financial Supervisory Authority said then that the flaws it had uncovered were serious enough to revoke Nordea’s banking licence. The Swedish FSA is still looking into the activities of Swedish banks exposed in the Panama Papers.
The Finnish FSA also issued public warnings and smaller fines for Helsinki Area Cooperative Bank, Alexandria Pankkiiriliike and Investium Ltd, for similar misdemeanors.
$1 = 9.0243 Swedish crowns $1 = 0.9477 euros Reporting by Simon Johnson in Stockholm and Tuomas Forsell in Helsinki.; editing by Daniel Dickson and Edmund Blair