Banks twisting client arms to draw out personal data


Nordea and Danske clients complained to Postimees that said banks withheld services related to transfers and purchase of shares as the individuals failed to fill fresh personal data declaration.

The banks told Postimees that they are not collecting the detailed data on their own initiative but are under obligation to fulfil diligence measures arising from laws and other regulations.

Danske Bank explained that the information collected about customers has become very detailed. «In addition to an individual’s personal and document data, a bank must identify the customer’s activity profile, field of activity, volume of activity (bank account turnover), main partners,» explained the bank’s communication chief Tõnu Talinurm. «Pursuant to Tax Information Exchange Act, Danske Bank A/S Estonian branch needs to provide Tax and Customs Board information regarding US tax residents known to it or presumed by it. Because of that, we need to ask all clients whether they are US tax residents.»

Data Protection Inspectorate’s main stand is that the bank presenting the questions must also ensure that the clients know why they need to declare the extra data.

Financial Supervision Authority said the laws do lay on banks the obligation to know their customers, but do not prescribe specific questions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *