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Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures taken by Danish banks

Below we have listed some of the tools and initiatives used by Danish banks to prevent their systems from being misused for money laundering and terrorist financing.

1. Banks must know their customers. For this reason they always require customers to present their passport, driver's licence, national health insurance card or other documentation. Banks also require information on the expected business volume, for instance the number of deposits and withdrawals, transfers and card transactions the customer expects to make.

2. Banks monitor all transactions, for instance deposits and withdrawals as well as international transfers. If any transactions give rise to questions or deviate from a customer's normal transaction pattern, the bank will make further enquiries. If answers are not satisfactory or circumstances appear very suspicious, the bank must notify the police via the Danish Money Laundering Secretariat.

3. Banks will report any suspicious transactions to the Danish Money Laundering Secretariat, which will then investigate whether criminal conduct has taken place. The number of reports filed has multiplied over the past few years. In 2017 alone, Danish banks filed more than 18,000 reports; a 38% rise on 2016.

4. Several of the reports filed by banks with the Danish Money Laundering Secretariat are referred for investigation by the Danish Tax Agency. With an average rate of success of 4 out of 5 reports filed, tthe Danish Tax Agency have recovered about DKK 100m net in extra tax revenues.

5. Danish banks make some 2,000 data deliveries annually to the tax authorities containing information which is key to the authorities' efforts to counter tax evasion.

6. At the request of the Danish Tax Agency, banks disclose information on all international transfers to tax havens to prevent tax evasion.

7. More than 2,000 bank officers today are dedicated exclusively to monitoring operations and ensuring that banks are not misused for money laundering, terrorist financing or other criminal activity.

8. Banks have invested massively in new and more efficient IT surveillance systems searching for criminal patterns and detecting suspicious activity in time. These systems screen millions of transactions every day.

9.  Finance Denmark has intensified its collaboration with the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, the Danish Tax Agency, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service and the Danish Money Laundering Secretariat – as the clampdown on money laundering and terrorist financing is a joint responsibility of the banks, the authorities and the police.

10. Finance Denmark has appointed a permanent anti-money laundering task force charged with facilitating knowledge-sharing with respect to legislation and best practice.

11. Finance Denmark has also set up a forum where the Danish authorities regularly meet with the banks to discuss the best anti-money laundering methods.

12. Danish banks have launched training and instruction programmes equipping bank staff to prevent and counter money laundering and terrorist financing.

13. Danish banks have appointed Money Laundering Reporting Officers tasked with ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering legislation and regulation.

14. Danish banks continuously assess risk levels and prepare risk management policies and procedures for internal control to minimise the risk of being misused for money laundering and terrorist financing.

15. We maintain a close dialogue with Danish politicians and ministries on how to obtain the most effective legislation and regulation preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, while at the same time promoting a society rich in opportunities and supporting growth and employment throughout Denmark.



Finance Denmark is a business association for banks, mortgage institutions, asset management, securities trading and investment funds in Denmark. Our members are mortgage institutions, banks, savings banks, cooperative savings banks, Danish branches of foreign banks, asset managers, Danish securities dealers and investment funds. 

Read more about Finance Denmark and our work