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Financial watchdog sets up anti-money laundering team 

Following allegations of money laundering at Nordea Bank, the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIVA) has pledged to become more vigilant.

Viidenkymmenen euron seteleitä
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

The Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIVA) is establishing a new unit to specifically combat money laundering.

Samu Kurri, head of the agency's institutional supervision department, told Yle on Tuesday that the new 11-member team will significantly boost the watchdog's oversight measures. He said it will expand FIVA's ability to carry out inspections and come up with more precise risk profiles.

Kurri promised that the new unit will introduce measures to tackle money laundering "closer to the international level" .

Investigative journalists probing international money laundering schemes say that Finland's banking supervisors have done little to intervene in money laundering.

On Monday Yle published a report detailing extensive money laundering at the Finnish branch of the Nordic financial conglomerate Nordea.

"We have looked in the mirror"

Facing domestic and international criticism, FIVA has pledged to step up its game.

"We have looked in the mirror and changed our procedures," Kurri said in a Radio Suomi interview.

Finland's anti-money laundering operations are the subject of a separate report to be published on Wednesday.

"We are reacting in advance to the likely recommendations. Of course we could have more employees, but this is a significant change. We will consider other possible measures following the report," he added.

Both Nordea and FIVA have admitted that they have not taken money laundering seriously enough, and are promising to mend their ways.

"We in the Nordic countries have been too gullible regarding money laundering. Finland is quick to advise others on how to do things right. Before we can further do so, we must do as we say and show an example," Kurri said.

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