Financial Supervisory Authority's inspection completed in OP Retail Customers plc – OP has fixed shortcomings in procedures

The inspection was part of Financial Supervisory Authority's (FIN-FSA) normal inspection activities. In its inspection, the FIN-FSA did not make any observations that would indicate money laundering or terrorist financing. OP has fixed major shortcomings in its processes.

The inspection initiated by the FIN-FSA on 4 April 2023 concerning anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing in OP Retail Customers plc has been completed. The inspection was normal inspection activities by the FIN-FSA, to assess whether the bank had organised its operations in compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulation. Banks in various banking groups are subject to regular inspections of this kind. 

The inspection concerned compliance with enhanced customer due diligence related to credit card customers in high-risk countries outside of the European Economic Area, and the related procedures. High-risk countries mean here countries defined by the European Commission whose systems for preventing and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing have shortcomings. These countries also include popular tourist destinations, such as South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Vietnam. 

High-risk countries account for less than one per cent of all payments made abroad with OP's credit cards, and the median of these payments is around 24 euros. It is typically the question of payments related to travelling of consumer customers. 

In its inspection, the FIN-FSA made three observations which applied to the company's operations in 2022. At that time, the company had insufficient capability to identify all credit card transactions to high-risk countries. Secondly, the company had not conducted sufficiently comprehensive enhanced customer due diligence measures when the customer had paid with a credit card in high-risk countries. Thirdly, the FIN-FSA considered that the risk assessment related to the prevention of the company's money laundering and terrorist financing was not clear enough in respect of credit cards. OP has fixed the major shortcomings in processes and has already during the inspection updated its risk assessment. 

"With respect to the three observations, key development measures had been identified and initiated already before the start of the inspection and were completed during the inspection. At OP Financial Group, we take anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing very seriously and are involved in continuous improvement in the development of our processes, procedures and systems," says Harri Nummela, Executive Vice President, Banking Personal and SME Customers, OP Financial Group.

In recent years, OP Financial Group has multiplied its ICT and HR investments related to financial crime prevention. At the moment, some 500 specialists work in financial crime prevention in OP Financial Group’s central cooperative. In addition, the personnel of OP cooperative banks plays a key role in maintaining customer information and identifying suspicious transactions. All employees of OP Financial Group participate regularly in training sessions on detecting and reporting unusual transactions.