Danish watchdog tells Handelsbanken to improve customer oversight

FILE PHOTO: A branch of Handelsbanken is seen in Wilmslow, Britain January 12, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's financial watchdog on Tuesday ordered Handelsbanken SHBa.ST to improve oversight of customers at its Danish branch after a review had found elevated risks of the branch being misused for money laundering and terrorist financing.

The review, commissioned by the regulator, which took place between October and December last year, found that the bank’s IT systems failed to sufficiently monitor unusual customer behaviour.

It also found insufficient procedures for reporting unusual customer behaviour to authorities, the FSA said.

“The branch’s inherent risk of being misused for money laundering or terrorist financing is normal to high compared to the average of financial companies in Denmark,” the FSA said.

Handelsbanken said in a statement that it “works continuously to improve our monitoring system and procedures together with our IT supplier.”

“We also take note of the Danish FSA statement and are in dialogue with the authority about the orders,” it said

In November last year, the FSA had told Handelabanken’s Danish unit to strengthen its anti-money laundering efforts.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen. Editing by Jane Merriman