Finanstilsynet confirms administrative fine
On 7 December 2020, DNB announced that a preliminary report from Finanstilsynet (the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway) indicated the possibility of an administrative fine of NOK 400 million, due to inadequate compliance with the Norwegian Anti-Money Laundering Act. Today, Finanstilsynet publishes its final report in this case, confirming that the fine is imposed. DNB has already recorded the total fine in its annual accounts for 2020.
Finanstilsynet today also publishes a report from December 2020 on investigations regarding the Icelandic fisheries company Samherji. Samherji has been accused of money laundering and corruption in connection with the company’s activities in Namibia. Økokrim (the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime) carried out a thorough investigation of DNB’s role in the Samherji case. The police dropped the case against DNB on 11 February 2021, after DNB had disclosed all relevant information.
The incidents covered by Finanstilsynet in the Samherji case partly took place so many years ago that they are time-barred, and occurred when the old anti-money laundering act was still in force. DNB’s anti-money laundering efforts have since been significantly intensified.
DNB acknowledges that there were shortcomings related to customer due diligence in the six companies as noted by Finanstilsynet in connection with the Samherji case. The bank’s own investigations have uncovered the same shortcomings that Finanstilsynet points to.
Partly as a result of the Samherji case, DNB has done a great deal of work on reviewing the customer portfolio. The purpose is for the bank to know the customers and understand the money laundering risk they represent. This work is extensive.
Not under suspicion of money laundering
DNB has not been under suspicion of money laundering or complicity in money laundering. Finanstilsynet is critical of DNB’s compliance with the AML regulations. Meeting the authorities’ expectations in the area of anti-money laundering to help combat financial crime is an important part of DNB’s corporate responsibility.
DNB spends considerable resources in the battle against money laundering. Nevertheless, DNB acknowledges that the anti-money laundering efforts had not given sufficient results at the time of the inspection, and the bank therefore accepts Finanstilsynet’s fine.
The Board’s top priority
In the past few years, DNB has implemented several measures to strengthen its anti-money laundering efforts. Organisation, risk assessment, risk classification and electronic monitoring are areas that have been significantly strengthened. The Board and Group Management regularly follow up this important work.
DNB does not recognize Finanstilsynet’s assessment that the Board and management failed to prioritise anti-money laundering.
The fight against money laundering is at the top of the Board’s agenda. Finanstilsynet is right to say that there are areas in which we need to improve, but we have also made great strides in the past few years. These efforts can be continually improved, and DNB will continue to prioritise this in the years ahead.
Rune Helland, Head of Investor Relations: +47 977 13 250
Vibeke Hansen, Executive Vice President Communications: +47 990 13 349
Thomas Midteide, Group Executive Vice President, Communication and Sustainability: +47 962 32 017