International sanctions

What are international sanctions? How do sanctions affect my banking?

What are sanctions?

International sanctions may restrict economic or commercial cooperation or affect, for example, transport and communications or diplomatic ties. Sanctions may concern, for example, certain individuals, organisations or countries. The purpose is to influence actions that are considered a threat to international peace and security. Such actions may include the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism or large-scale violations of human rights.

Sanctions include means such as export and import restrictions, financial sanctions, and travel restrictions. Export and import restrictions as well a financial sanctions, in particular, affect banking. Sanctions are based on national legislation of the country imposing sanctions or international legislation. Banks may not themselves impose sanctions or affect them.

How do sanctions affect my banking?

By law, a bank must have sufficient information on its customers and the customers’ actions. In addition, we have an obligation to monitor payments to ensure that we do not transfer payments contrary to mandatory law for us, instructions issued by relevant authorities or our risk management principles. 

We compare payment and customer data with those given on international sanctions. Whenever necessary, we ask our customers for additional information. This is how we ensure that we comply with regulation and obligations imposed by the authorities and can take measures they require, if needed. 

Checks related to sanctions risk management may occasionally cause delay to some payment transfers. We will do our best to avoid extra delays. 

The bank sent me a query related to sanctions. Does this mean that I am on the sanctions list or have violated sanctions?

When necessary, we ask all our customers for additional information to ensure that we do not transfer payments contrary to mandatory law for us, instructions issued by relevant authorities or our risk management principles.

So, asking for additional information related to a transaction or customer relationship alone does not mean that you would be on the sanctions list or have violated sanctions.

Do I really have to answer these questions?

Although some of the questions may seem puzzling, they are totally normal questions related to banking. We ask you only for information that we are obliged to determine as part of payment processing or another transaction or use of services. We cannot necessarily process your payment at all if we do not get the requested information.

Do I personally have to be aware of regulations related to sanctions or does the bank attend to all for me?

Every customer is responsible for finding out and complying with permits, sanctions and other restrictions applying to themselves.

Unfortunately, we cannot guide our customers in compliance with sanctions, assess the effects of sanctions on transactions or perform sanctions screening for our customers.

How is the information I have given handled and for what purpose is it used?

All the information that you give will be handled confidentially.

Please note that we never inquire about your personal ID code or online bank user identifiers or passwords by email or over the phone. Never disclose your user IDs to anyone, not even family members.