Anti-financial Crime

As one of Finland’s largest providers of financial services, OP Financial Group plays an important societal role in combating financial crime. We take this responsibility seriously.

Financial crime has significant, harmful impacts on society. OP Financial Group and other financial service providers play a key role in preventing such crime.

We are committed to protecting our customers and society from financial crime. It is our task to ensure that neither our products nor our services are used to commit crimes. Our financial crime prevention activities are guided by our strict risk management principles and practices.

We invest in anti-financial crime activities

We take anti-financial crime activities extremely seriously. Over the years, we have developed our anti-financial crime processes, practices, internal control, and systems. 

OP Financial Group processes billions of transactions a year and uses various systems and experts to monitor them. We continuously invest in financial crime prevention through our employees and system development.  

Hundreds of specialists are engaged in anti-financial crime work in OP Financial Group’s central cooperative. Employees of OP cooperative banks and OP Financial Group’s other companies also play an important role in Know Your Customer (KYC) activities, maintaining customer data, monitoring customers’ account transactions, and identifying suspicious activities. 

All OP Financial Group employees are regularly trained in matters such as the detection and reporting of unusual transactions. In this way, we ensure that they understand regulations, guidelines and procedures related to anti-money laundering (AML) activities and sanctions.

General principles of financial crime prevention

We apply our Code of Business Ethics in our anti-financial crime activities. All people working in OP Financial Group and on its governing bodies must apply the Code. OP Financial Group has unified risk management principles and practices which all employees must follow. We are committed to complying with local laws and regulations in all our activities.
We subject our principles, guidelines and monitoring to continuous internal supervision. If we identify deficiencies (no matter how small) in our activities, we immediately take development measures.
Our anti-financial crime work is guided by our general principles: 
  • In our operations, we promote the sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing of our owner-customers and operating region.
  • Our core values – people first, responsibility, and succeeding together – guide our daily work. 
All OP Financial Group employees play a part in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing activities, and in complying with sanctions.

Our three lines of defence


OP Financial Group uses the three lines of defence principle for managing money laundering and sanctions risks.

In OP Financial Group’s businesses (such as OP cooperative banks) we take account of money laundering risks in our daily customer service activities and, for example, when developing new products and services.
Most of our Know Your Customer (KYC) work is done in OP cooperative banks. This work is supported by OP Financial Group’s businesses and the centralised Anti-financial Crime function. Together with the OP cooperative banks, these organisations secure the business environment of the whole Group and its customers:
  • by identifying customer relationships that may involve a risk of money laundering or terrorist financing, and ensuring that we have sufficient KYC information of the right kind.
  • by ensuring that we do not transfer payments to parties on sanctions lists.
  • by monitoring money laundering and terrorist financing risk factors in our customers’ behaviour and orders, and by analysing and (where necessary) reporting such risk factors.
  • by ensuring that use of OP Financial Group‘s services is secure, through means such as scam and fraud prevention and immediate reaction to problems.
  • by identifying and preventing the many evolving types of fraud.
  • by providing guidance, training and advice, and supporting OP cooperative banks and the whole of OP Financial Group in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • by developing technological solutions to support the above-mentioned activities.
The Compliance function in OP Financial Group’s central cooperative (in OP Cooperative) supervises OP Financial Group’s and its companies’ compliance with external AML and terrorist financing regulations, and with the related internal guidelines and ethical codes. The function regularly monitors the progress of measures taken to correct observed deficiencies, and reports the results to the senior and executive managements of the Group and its various bodies. Compliance is also responsible for joint Group-level guidelines and principles.
Independently of the Group’s other functions and OP cooperative banks, OP Financial Group’s Internal Audit examines anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing and sanction risk management guidelines and procedures, and compliance with them, on the basis of its own risk-based consideration. When conducting audits, Internal Audit assesses how well internal control works. It reports its observations regularly to the central cooperative’s Board of Directors and to the Supervisory Council’s Audit Committee.

For us it is important to know our customers


All banks must have sufficient information on the nature and scope of their customers’ activities, their financial status, and their grounds for using banking services. At the start of the customer relationship, we ask our customers to provide various items of personal and customer data. We update such data regularly, for example when a customer begins to use new services.

By requesting information and clarifications, we can understand how our customers normally operate and can spot and investigate uncharacteristic activity. This enables us to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations, and to provide our customers with even better service.

Read more:

Why does the bank ask questions?

Knowing corporate customers


List of terms used in anti-financial crime work

Money laundering refers to activities aimed at transferring illegally obtained assets or funds/benefits generated from crime to the legal financial system, while illicitly disguising or concealing the source of such assets, funds or benefits.
Terrorist financing refers to the direct or indirect provision or collection of funds to finance terrorist acts. Unlike money that is laundered, funds used for terrorist financing may originate in legal sources.

International sanctions may restrict economic or commercial cooperation or affect, for example, transport and communications or diplomatic ties. They may apply to certain individuals, organisations or countries. Sanctions are based on the national legislation of the country imposing them or on international legislation. The aim is to impact on activities considered a threat to international peace and security, which may include the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism or large-scale violations of human rights.

Banking is affected by financial sanctions and export and import restrictions, in particular. In addition to sanctions imposed by the UN, EU and national authorities, OP Financial Group’s activities are affected by sanctions issued by certain countries.

In cases of corruption, someone attempts to use their position or authority for private gain, either for themselves or a third party.

Bribery is a form of corruption in which a monetary or non-monetary gain is promised, offered or accepted in order to inappropriately influence how a person or people act in their role or organisation.


Tax evasion refers to attempts to circumvent taxation by illegal means in order, for example, to pay too little tax or none at all. A private individual, company or other organisation can be guilty of tax evasion.

The ‘whistleblowing procedure’ provides a confidential channel for reporting cases of suspected misconduct, other violations, or breaches of regulations to an independent function. At OP Financial Group, we take cases of suspected misconduct seriously and want to provide an easy and confidential reporting channel for raising concerns about them.

Customers of OP Financial Group and other financial sector companies may fall victim to varied and rapidly developing forms of fraud, such as payment fraud, bank account fraud, fake invoices, CEO fraud and online fraud.