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Banks, investment firms fined for handling of older customers

Finland's financial watchdog has imposed fines on Nordea Bank and OP Helsinki as well as investment firms Investium and Alexandria because of how they sell to clients over 70.

Asiakkaat odottavat vuoroaan Osuuspankissa.
Image: Yle

The Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority has imposed fines on four financial institutions because of deficiencies in investment advice.

The financial watchdog particularly found shortcomings in how non-professional customers over the age of 70 have been sold investment funds. It said the institutions did not obtain enough information from elderly private investors before providing them with investment advice.

It issued warnings to the Finnish branch of Nordea Bank and OP Helsinki as well as the investment service companies Alexandria and Investium.

Nordea: "Deficiencies were not wilful"

Nordea was slapped with the largest fine: 1 million euros.

"In its investment advice, Nordea...failed to identify and prevent conflicts of interest," the watchdog said in a statement.

The bank says the problems only affected a small number of cases. It denies that the deficiencies were intentional or that clients were given advice that was not in their best interest.

"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.

Nordea has run afoul of financial authorities several times in recent years. It was the Nordic bank named most in the Panama Papers and admitted it had not always done enough to safeguard against crimes such as money laundering.

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