Nordea Bank Shuts Accounts Amid Tighter Offshore Rules

     HELSINKI (AP) — The Nordic region’s largest bank said Wednesday it will close 68 accounts at its Luxembourg branch as it adopts tougher rules on clients using offshore companies.
     Nordea Bank has carried out an internal investigation after Swedish broadcaster SVT, one of hundreds of media with access to leaked documents detailing offshore accounts, reported that Nordea’s Luxembourg unit worked with Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca to help customers set up shell companies.
     The bank’s probe found that although its employees provided administrative services to customers, there was no evidence they had initiated the “establishment of offshore structures” or had contributed to customers’ tax evasion.
     Nordea CEO Casper von Koskull said Wednesday that the bank does not accept being used as a platform for tax evasion or aggressive tax planning.
     It will review by year end all its customer accounts to make sure there is sufficient evidence that any offshore activity is tax compliant and legal.
     Nordea had introduced stricter policies on offshore activity in 2009 but the recent probe showed that the “implementation was insufficient.”
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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