Preventing financial crime and corruption
Combating financial crime, including the laundering of proceeds from criminal activities or the financing of terrorist activities, is demanding and important work. Ensuring that the industry is not exploited for illegal purposes through its services and products is part of the financial services industry’s social mission, and as a financial institution we are subject to a number of laws and requirements linked to combating corruption and other types of financial crime such as fraud, work-related crime and money laundering.
This is a high priority area in Sparebanken Møre. Our goal is to reduce the financial losses suffered by society, the bank and the bank’s customers, and all of our stakeholders must be confident that we have a high level of expertise and secure services and solutions.
Sparebanken Møre itself must demonstrate high ethical standards and we practise a policy of zero tolerance regarding internal irregularities. We must not be associated with activities, customers or industries with questionable reputations.
We detect fraud, crime and rapid transfers of proceeds on a daily basis. This means that we need to be vigilant in our work and monitor in order to prevent both the bank and customers being exposed to fraud and swindles.
Measures implemented in 2020
The work on combating financial crime requires a high degree of expertise and during 2020 extensive work was done on the bank’s guidelines and training employees in relation to these. The training takes place in, for example, forums and departmental meetings, as well as via digital tools. The year 2020 was marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s support and compensation scheme can be tempting for criminals. The bank has carried out extra checks on customers who used these schemes.
In 2020, the bank also strengthened its efforts in the area by establishing a new Financial Crime Department. The department has a comprehensive responsibility to identify and manage the risk picture. Sparebanken Møre has also appointed a dedicated anti-money laundering coordinator.
Sparebanken Møre registers instances of internal and external fraud. No instances involving internal fraud were registered in 2020, while 394 instances involving external fraud were registered. The number of fraud cases in the bank where someone has, or has tried to, deceive customers is stable. The bank assists customers who report fraud to us.
Internal risk assessments have also been carried out, including for money laundering and terrorist financing and operational risk, with associated risk mitigation measures. These are broadly anchored in the bank and result in good discussions and help to improve the employees’ expertise and vigilance. The risk of internal fraud and corruption is assessed but is considered insignificant. The bank did not identify any cases of corruption in 2020.
The bank will prioritise its work on combating money laundering and terrorist financing in cooperation with the authorities. In connection with the establishment of our dedicated Financial Crime Department, we will further strengthen and coordinate the work on dealing with fraud. In 2021, we will continue the job of raising employee awareness about this important topic and various training measures will be continued and implemented. We are constantly working to prevent fraud and unwanted criminal activities.
Measurement and evaluation
The work is monitored closely and reported on by employees, the bank’s management, internal and external auditors and the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway.
Annual internal evaluations are conducted when revising guidelines and procedures, and period independent evaluations of the area’s compliance with the management system conducted by auditors or supervisory authorities.
Business Support Unit, Financial Crime Department.
Key governing documents
Activities are governed by legislation, guidelines and procedures intended to prevent it from being used for corruption, money laundering, tax evasion or terrorist financing. The most important internal documents are the following:
- Guidelines for the work on combating money laundering and terrorist financing
- Measures against money laundering and terrorist financing when establishing and expanding customer relationships
- Code of Conduct and CSR Policy
103-1,103-2,103-3, 205-2, 205-3