Finnish FSA fines local bank $1 mln for failures in anti-money laundering checks

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority said on Wednesday it has given 980,000 euros ($1.08 million) penalty to local banking group S-Pankki Oy for failures in its past know-your-client anti-money laundering checks.

“Its risk-based approach has not been comprehensive enough in order to meet the requirements of anti-money laundering law and it has failed to acquire sufficient know your customer information from its clients,” FSA said in a statement.

FSA said there had also been shortcomings in S-Pankki’s IT-systems and processes; but it said the review gave no reason to suspect any money laundering crimes.

S-Pankki - part of retailer S Group - has 3.1 million clients in the country of 5.5 million, making it one of the largest banks in the country by clientele.

Jussi Sokka, head of legal at S-Pankki, told Reuters the bank did not fully agree with all details of the decision, but had no plans to appeal it.

“We are taking this very seriously,” Sokka said. ($1 = 0.9073 euros) (Reporting by Tarmo Virki, editing by Louise Heavens)