June 17 2019
The two biggest Nordic banks have both recently beefed up their compliance units significantly. Both say the extra headcount is temporary
Nordea Bank Abp has hundreds of employees who scrutinize billions of transactions in order to catch anything that looks potentially criminal. It’s a costly, inefficient system that Mikael Bjertrup, head of the bank’s financial crime prevention unit, plans to change. Bjertrup says that about 20 per cent of suspicious alerts are currently closed by algorithms, based on machine learning, with the rest still being handled by humans. He wants to see those numbers reversed so that algorithms handle 80 per cent.
“We’ll be fewer people in the future, but our defense will be better,” he said. “We won’t need as many as 1,500 employees in the future, as technology improves.”