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Nordea completes probe into Luxembourg unit's Panama Papers involvement

completed itsinternal investigation into whether Luxembourg-based unit followed rulesregarding activities related to offshore structures.

The investigation, launched inthe wake of the Panama Papersscandal, looked intooffshore structures either administered by Panama-based law firm and/orincorporated in Panama, and which had a customer relationship with theLuxembourg unit as of April 15. The tax part of the probe covered the periodfrom 2010 to 2016, covering 137 structures.

The probe found that while theunit offered administrative services to customers, there was no evidence thatits employees initiated the establishment of offshore structures or proactivelycontributed to the customers' potential tax evasion. The unit had relevantpolicies and instructions in place, such as those related to know-your-customerregulations, anti-money laundering measures and tax compliance.

Nordea also reviewed the Russianmanagement's ownership of private offshore structures and found no evidence ofany violations of the group's internal policies relating to establishing ormaintaining such structures.

Nordea Bank SA also blockedaccounts where suspicious indications were found during the investigation andplaced the accounts under further investigation to ensure if they comply withrelevant tax rules. The unit will also stop assisting customers with theadministration of offshore structures, neither with Mossack Fonseca nor withother corporate service providers. Nordea expects to completely discontinue allassociation with Mossack Fonseca by the end of 2016.

Swedish law firm MannheimerSwartling, which assisted Nordea in its probe, concluded that there aredeficiencies relating to the governance and control structures in Nordea BankSA.

Following the probe, Nordea saidit will apply stricter governance of Nordea Bank SA and integrate the unit intoits Nordic private banking organization to secure a fully compliant culture.The unit will have a new board composition, including an external board member,and internal control functions will be strengthened.