Nordic banks join forces to combat money laundering

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Nordic region’s six major banks announced the creation of a customer checking center on Friday, with the initiative expected to help their efforts to crack down on money launderers and recover from a scandal that has damaged the sector’s reputation.

The news confirms a Reuters report about the venture, which involves scandal-hit Danske Bank DABA.CO and Swedbank SWEDa.ST and their rivals Handelsbanken SHBa.ST, Nordea NDAFI.HE, SEB SEBa.ST and DNB DNB.OL.

The banks confirmed the KYC Utility would pool know your customer checks initially for their large and medium-sized Nordic-based companies and begin offering commercial services from next year.

Fighting money laundering has become a high profile issue for the region after Danske Bank and Swedbank became embroiled in a money laundering scandal involving their businesses in the Baltics, costing both billions in market value.

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm; Editing by Keith Weir