FINLAND BACKGROUND CHECK

General Information

GDP USD267.3286bn (World ranking 42, World Bank 2013)
Population 5.44 million (World ranking 113, World Bank 2013)
Form of state Republic
Head of government Alexander Stubb (National Coalition Party, KoK)
Next elections 19 April 2015, legislative

CURRENT LOCAL TIME

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PRODUCTS IN FINLAND

Data Protection

Finland

Contribution Details

Hanes snellman attorneys Ltd

Eteläranta 8/P.o. box 333, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

Kaisa fahllund

Partner

Erkko Korhonen

Senior Associate

Law

A member of the European Union, Finland implemented the EU Data Protection Directive

95/46/EC in June 1999 with the Personal Data Act 523/1999 (“Act”).

Definition of Personal Data

Pursuant to the Act, “personal data” means any information on a private individual and any information on his or her personal characteristics or personal circumstances where these are identifiable as concerning him or her or the members of his or her family or household.

Definition of Sensitive Personal Data

Pursuant to the Act, “sensitive personal data” means personal data that relates to or is intended to relate to (a) race or ethnic origin; (b) the social, political or religious affiliation or trade union membership of a person; (c) criminal act, punishment or other criminal sanction; (d) the state of health, illness or handicap of a person or the treatment or other comparable measures directed at the person; (e) the sexual preferences or sex life of a person; or (f ) the social welfare needs of a person or the benefits, support or other social welfare assistance received by the person.

National Data Protection Authority

The Data Protection ombudsman

P.o. box 315

00181 Helsinki

Finland

Visiting address:

Albertinkatu 25 A, 3rd floor

Registration

There is no general obligation to register as a data controller under the Act. However, the data controllers shall make a notification to the Data Protection Ombudsman in certain situations. The notification shall be made if the processing of personal data is automated or the exemptions provided in the Act do not apply. Generally, the exemptions cover the majority of the general grounds for data processing. The duty of notification would concern e.g. the cases where the processing of personal data is outsourced or certain cases where personal data is transferred to outside the European Union or the European Economic Area or where the direct marketing is carried out.

However, pursuant to the Act, the data controller shall draw up a description of the personal data file, including the following information: (a) the name and address of the controller and, where necessary, those of the representative of the controller; (b) the purpose of processing

the personal data; (c) a description of the group or groups of data subjects and the data or data groups relating to them; (d) the regular destinations of disclosed data and whether data is transferred to countries outside the European Union or the European Economic Area; and

(e) a description of the principles in accordance to which the data file is secured.

The data controller shall keep the description of the file available to anyone apart from a few exceptions as set forth in the Act.

Data Protection Officers

There is no specific requirement in the Act for organizations to appoint a data protection officer. However, entities processing personal data should appoint a contact person in the description of the personal data file.

Collection and Processing

Data controllers may collect and process personal data when any of the following conditions are met:

■     The data subject has given his or her unambiguous consent for processing;

■     the data subject has given an assignment for processing, or this is necessary in order to perform a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject before entering into a contract;

■     processing is necessary, in an individual case, in order to protect the vital interests of the data

Subject;

■     processing is based on the provisions of an Act, or it is necessary for compliance with a task or obligation to which the data controller is bound by virtue of an Act, or an order issued on the basis of an Act;

■     There is a relevant connection between the data subject and the operations of the controller, because the data subject is a client or a member of, or in the service of, the controller or there is a comparable relationship between the two (connection requirement);

■     The data relates to the clients or the employees of a group of companies or another comparable economic group, and they are processed within the said group;

■     processing is necessary for purposes of payment traffic, computing or other comparable tasks

Undertaken on the assignment of the data controller;

■     the matter concerns generally available data on the status, duties or performance of a person in a public corporation or business, and the data is processed in order to safeguard the rights and interests of the data controller or a third party receiving the data; or

■     The Data Protection Board has granted a permission for the processing of personal data in accordance with the Act.

There are separate requirements in the Act for the processing of sensitive personal data and the personal identity number. Further, in addition to these grounds, there are some specific purposes where the personal data may be processed such as historical, scientific or statistical purposes.

The purposes for the processing of personal data shall be defined in advance and personal data must not be processed in a manner incompatible with the defined purposes. Personal data shall only be processed to the extent necessary for the purposes of processing.

When collecting personal data, the data controller shall ensure that the data subject can have information on the data controller, on the purpose of the processing of the personal data, on the regular destinations of disclosed data, as well as on how to proceed in order to make use of the rights of the data subject in respect to the processing operation in question.

Transfer

The data controllers may transfer personal data out of the European Union and the European

Economic Area if any of the following conditions are met:

■     the data subject has given his or her unambiguous consent to the transfer;

■     the data subject has given an assignment for the transfer, or it is necessary in order to perform a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request

of the data subject before entering into a contract;

■     the transfer is necessary in order to make or perform an agreement between the data controller and a third party and in the interest of the data subject;

■     the transfer is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject;

■     the transfer is necessary or required by law in order to secure an important public interest or for purposes of drafting or filing a lawsuit or for responding to or deciding such a lawsuit;

■     the transfer is made from a file, from which data may be disclosed either generally of for special reasons as expressly prescribed by law;

■     the data controller, by means of contractual terms or otherwise, gives adequate guarantees of the protection of the privacy and the rights of individuals, and the European Commission has not found, pursuant to Articles 3 and 26(3) of the Data Protection Directive, that the guarantees are inadequate; or

■     the transfer is made by using standard contractual clauses as adopted by the European

Commission in accordance with Article 26(4) of the Data Protection Directive.

Transfer of a data subject’s personal data to non EU/European Economic Area countries is also allowed if the countries provide adequate levels of data protection as found by the European Commission, or if the level of data protection is sufficiently guaranteed by the data controller which are to be reviewed by the Data Protection Ombudsman.

For transfer of data to the United States, compliance with the US/EU Safe Harbor principles satisfies the requirements of the Finnish transfer provisions.

Security

The controller shall carry out the technical and organizational measures necessary for securing personal data against unauthorized access, against accidental or unlawful destruction, manipulation, disclosure and transfer and against other unlawful processing. The techniques available, the associated costs, the quality, quantity and age of the data, as well as the significance of the processing to the protection of privacy shall be taken into account when carrying out the measures.

Anyone who operates on behalf of the data controller shall, before starting the processing of data, provide the data controller with appropriate commitments and other adequate guarantees of the data security.

Breach notification

There is no mandatory requirement in the Act to report data security breaches or losses to

The data subject or the data protection authorities (however, such obligations may be imposed on an entity elsewhere in legislation). However, the Data Protection Ombudsman or the Data Protection Board may instruct the data controller to take necessary actions and these may include informing the data subjects on the breach.

Enforcement

The Data Protection Ombudsman and the Data Protection Board are responsible for the enforcement of the Act.

The Data Protection Ombudsman provides direction and guidance on the processing of personal data and supervises the data processing. It also issues directions, advice and guidelines in order to cease and prevent unlawful conduct. Where necessary, the Data Protection Ombudsman shall refer the matter to be dealt with by the Data Protection Board, or report it for prosecution.

The Data Protection Board may, upon request made by the Data Protection Ombudsman (a) prohibit processing of personal data which is contrary to the Act or the rules and regulations issued on the basis of the Act; (b) compel the person concerned to remedy an instance of unlawful conduct or neglect; (c) order that the operations concerning processing of personal data be ceased if the unlawful conduct or neglect seriously compromise the protection of the privacy of the data subject or his or her interests or rights, provided that the personal data file is not set up under a statutory scheme; and (d) revoke a permission to process personal data which it has granted and where the prerequisites for processing are no longer fulfilled or the controller has failed to comply with the permission or the rules attached to it.

Failure to comply with the Act may result in criminal liability under the Finnish Penal Code

(38/1889) or the Act and be punished with fines or imprisonment in the maximum of one year.

Electronic Marketing

Direct marketing by electronic means is regulated by the Finnish Act on the Protection of

Privacy in Electronic Communications 2004/516 (the “ECA”), which came into force on

1 September 2004. The Data Protection Ombudsman shall have the power to supervise the compliance with the provisions on direct marketing.

Pursuant to the ECA, direct marketing may only be directed to natural persons by means of automated calling systems, facsimile machines, or e-mail, text, voice, sound or image messages if they have given their prior consent. Direct marketing other than by electronic means is allowed if a natural person has not specifically prohibited it. However, where a service provider has obtained contact information of a natural person in the context of the sale of a product or service, that service provider may generally use this information for direct marketing of his/

Her own products of the same product group and of other similar products or services, unless

Prohibited by the natural person in question.

Direct marketing to legal persons is allowed if the recipient has not specifically prohibited it. Both natural persons and legal persons must be allowed to prohibit all direct marketing referred to above easily and at no charge. Telecommunications operators and corporate or association subscribers are entitled, at a user’s request, to prevent the reception of such direct marketing.

Under the ECA, there are additional requirements concerning the identification of direct marketing. Firstly, the recipient of an e-mail, text, voice, sound or image message sent for the purpose of direct marketing must be able to recognize such a message as marketing clearly and

Unambiguously. Secondly, it is prohibited to send such message intended for marketing that either conceals the identity of the sender, is without a valid address or solicits recipients to visit websites that contravene the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.

Moreover, as there is likely to be processing of personal data involved in the electronic marketing, the provisions of the Personal Data Act (the “Act”) will be applicable. Generally, a data subject shall have a right to prohibit the controller from processing his/her personal data for direct advertising and other direct marketing. If such processing has not been prohibited by

the data subject, personal data may be collected into a personal data file kept for the purposes of direct marketing, if other requirements of the Act are met.

Online Privacy (Including Cookies and Location Data)

Online privacy matters such as cookies and location data are regulated by the Finnish Act on the Protection of Privacy in Electronic Communications 2004/516 (the “ECA”).

Cookies – The service provider may save cookies or other data in the user’s terminal device, if the user has given his/her consent thereto. The term “consent” is interpreted in the preliminary works of the law so that it may be given via browser or other application settings. Moreover, ECA requires that the service provider gives the user comprehensible and complete information on the purposes of saving or using such data. The saving and use of data is allowed only to the extent required for the service, and it may not limit the protection or privacy any more than is necessary.

However, the above mentioned provisions regarding saving and using of cookies do not apply to any processing of data which is intended solely for the purposes of enabling the transmission of messages or which is necessary for the service provider to be able to provide a service that has been specifically requested by the subscriber or user.

Location Data – Pursuant to the ECA, all messages, identification data and location data are confidential unless otherwise provided. Location data may be processed by telecom operators, value added service providers or corporate or association subscribers for the purpose of providing and using value added services. Such processing is allowed only to the extent required for the purpose of the processing, and it shall not limit the protection of privacy any more than is necessary.

Before beginning the processing of location data, the value added service provider or the corporate or association subscriber shall request service-specific consent from the party to be located, unless such consent is implied from the context or otherwise provided by law. It shall be ensured that the party to be located has both easy and continuous access to information on the location of the data processed and at no separate charge to cancel the consent.

A telecommunications operator shall have the right to process location data if the subscriber has

Not forbidden it. Before disclosing location data to a value added service provider or corporate

or association subscriber, the telecommunications operator shall take appropriate steps to

Ensure that the provision of such a value added service is based on the consent from the party to be located as stated above.

(Passed on 1889, amended on 2003)

Chapter 16 – Offences against the public authorities (563/1998)

Section 13 – Bribery (604/2002)

(1) A person who promises, offers or gives to a public official or gives a public official in exchange for his/her actions in service a gift or other benefit intended for him/her or for another, that influences or is intended to influence or is conducive to influencing the actions in service of the public official, shall be sentenced for bribery to a fine or to imprisonment for at most two years.

(2) Also a person who, in exchange for the actions in service of a public official, promises, offers or gives the gift or benefit referred to in subsection 1 shall be sentenced for bribery.

Section 14 – Aggravated bribery (563/1998)

If in the bribery

(1) the gift or benefit is intended to make the person act in service contrary to his/her duties with the result of considerable benefit to the briber or to another person or of considerable loss or detriment to another person; or

(2) the value of the gift or benefit is considerable and the bribery is aggravated also when assessed as whole, the offender shall be sentenced for aggravated bribery to imprisonment for at least four months and at most four years.

Section 14 a – Bribery of a member of Parliament (604/2002)

A person who promises, offers or gives a member of Parliament a gift or other unlawful benefit intended for him/her or for another, so that said member of Parliament would, in exchange for the benefit and in his/her parliamentary mandate, act so that a matter being considered or to be considered by Parliament would be decided in a certain way, shall be sentenced for bribery of a member of Parliament to a fine or to imprisonment for at most four years.

Chapter 40 – Offences in office (604/2002)

Section 1 – Acceptance of a bribe (604/2002)

(1) If a public official, for his/her actions while in service, for himself/herself or for another,

(1) asks for a gift or other unjustified benefit or otherwise takes an initiative in order to receive such a benefit,

(2) accepts a gift or other benefit which influences, which is intended to influence or which is conducive to influencing him/her in said actions, or

(3) agrees to the gift or other benefit referred to in paragraph 2 or to a promise or offer thereof,he/she shall be sentenced for acceptance of a bribe to a fine or to imprisonment for at most two years.

(2) A public official shall be sentenced for acceptance of a bribe also if for his/her actions while in service agrees to the giving of the gift or other benefit referred to in subsection 1(2) to another or to a promise of offer thereof.

(3) A public official may also be sentenced to dismissal if the offence demonstrates that he/she is manifestly unfit for his/her duties.

Section 2 – Aggravated acceptance of a bribe (604/2002)

If in the acceptance of a bribe

(1) the public official stipulates the bribe as a condition for his/her actions or it is his/her intention, because of the gift or benefit, to act in a manner contrary to his/her duties to the considerable benefit of the party giving the gift or of another, or to the considerable loss or detriment of another, or

(2) the gift or benefit is of significant value and the acceptance of a bribe is aggravated also when assessed as a whole, the public official shall be sentenced for aggravated acceptance of a bribe to imprisonment for at least four months and at most four years and in addition to dismissal from office.

Section 3 – Bribery violation (604/2002)

If a public official, for himself/herself or for another

(1) asks for a gift or other unlawful benefit or otherwise takes an initiative in order to receive such a benefit, or

(2) accepts or agrees to a gift or other benefit or agrees to a promise or offer of such a gift or other benefit so that the actions are conducive to weakening confidence in the impartiality of the actions of authorities, he/she shall be sentenced, if the act is not punishable as the acceptance of a bribe or aggravated acceptance of a bribe, for a bribery violation to a fine or to imprisonment for at most six months.

Section 4 – Acceptance of a bribe as a member of Parliament (604/2002)

If a member of Parliament, for himself/herself or for another

(1) requests a gift or other unlawful benefit or otherwise takes an initiative in order to receive such a benefit, or

(2) accepts or agrees to accept a gift or other unlawful benefit or agrees to a promise or offer of such a gift or other benefit and promises, in exchange for the benefit, to act in his/her parliamentary mandate so that a matter being considered or to be considered by Parliament would be decided in a certain way, he/she shall be sentenced for acceptance of a bribe as a member of Parliament to a fine or to imprisonment for at most four years.

Section 7 – Abuse of public office (604/2002)

(1) If a public official, in order to obtain benefit for himself/herself or for another or in order to cause detriment or loss to another (1) violates his/her official duty, based on the provisions or regulations to be followed in official functions, when participating in decision-making or in the preparation thereof or when using public authority in his/her other official functions, or

(2) misuses his/her office in respect of a person who is under his/her command or immediate supervision, he/she shall be sentenced for abuse of public office to a fine or to imprisonment for at most two years.

(3) The public official may also be sentenced to dismissal if the offence indicates that he/she is manifestly unfit for his/her duties.

Section 8 – Aggravated abuse of public office (792/1989)

If in the abuse of public office

(1) considerable benefit is sought, or

(2) an attempt is made to cause particularly considerable detriment or loss or

(3) the offence is committed in a particularly methodical or unscrupulous manner and the abuse of public office is aggravated also when assessed as a whole, the public official shall be sentenced for aggravated abuse of public office to imprisonment for at least four months and at most four years and to dismissal.

Section 11 – Definitions (604/2002)

For the purposes of the present law:

(1) a public official is defined as a person who serves in an office or in a comparable position of service in respect of the state, a municipality or an association of municipalities or of a co-operative body under public law of municipalities, Parliament, a state-owned company or the Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Orthodox Church or its parish or a co-operative body among parishes, the province of Åland, the Bank of Finland, the Social Insurance Institution, the Institute of Occupational Health, a municipal pension institution, the Municipal Surety Centre or a municipal labour market office;

(2) a person elected to a public office is defined as a member of a municipal council and any other member of a popularly elected representative body of a public body referred to in paragraph 1 other than a member of Parliament acting in his/her Parliamentary mandate, and a member of a public body or institution referred to in paragraph 1, such as the Government, municipal executive board, board, board of directors, committee, commission and advisory board and any other elected official of said public body or institution;

(3) an employee of a public corporation is defined as a person under a contract of employment with a public body or institution referred to in paragraph 1;

(4) a foreign public official is defined as a person who has been appointed or elected to an administrative or judicial office or position in a body or court of a foreign state or public international organisation, or who otherwise attends to a public function on behalf of a body or court of a foreign state or public international organisation;

(5) a person exercising public authority is defined as

(a) a person whose functions on the basis of an act or decree include issuing orders that oblige another or deciding on the interest, rights or duties of another, or who on the basis of an act or decree in fact in his/her duties intervenes into the benefits or rights of another, and

(b) a person who on the basis of an act or decree or on the basis of a commission from an authority on the basis of an act or decree participates in the preparation of a decision referred to in paragraph

(a) by presenting a draft decision or a proposal for a decision, preparing a report or plan, taking a sample, carrying out an inspection or in another corresponding manner;

(6) a member of a foreign Parliament is defined as a person who is a member of the Parliament of a foreign state or the International Parliamentary Assembly.

Section 12 – Provisions on the scope of application (604/2002)

(1) The provisions in this chapter on public officials apply also to a person tending to a public elected office and to a person exercising public authority.

(2) Sections 1 through 3, 5 and 14 of this chapter apply, with the exception of dismissal, also to an employee of a public corporation.

(3) Sections 1 through 3 and of this chapter, with the exception of dismissal, apply also to foreign public officials. In addition, sections 5 and 7 through 10 of this chapter, with the exception of the sanction of dismissal, apply to a foreign public official who serves in the territory of Finland on the basis of an international agreement or other international obligation in inspection, surveillance, pursuit or pre-trial investigation duties.

(4) Sections 4 and 14 of this chapter apply also to members of a foreign Parliament.

(5) Separate legislation applies to the application in certain cases of provisions on penal liability as a public official.

Section 14 – Forfeiture (604/2002)

The gift or benefit received in the manner referred to above in sections 1 through 4 or its value shall be ordered forfeit to the State from the offender or from the person on whose behalf or in whose favour the offender has acted. The provisions of chapter 10 apply to the forfeiture of other property.

Police Background Check Procedures

Who can apply?

• All individuals are entitled to inspect their criminal record under freedom of information
legislation. However, written information issued in this context is not intended to be shared with third parties.
• This extract is not a full disclosure, but for the purposes of UK employment, if sufficient to review regular contact with children. An individual may not authorise an employer or other third party to request a criminal record extract on his or her behalf. Employers may apply to the Finnish police for a security clearance check, but only if certain conditions are met (see below).
A security clearance check requires the consent of the subject.
• UK companies that have a branch office in Finland may also be entitled to apply to the Finnish police for a security clearance check.

Where?

• Applications can be made in person or in writing by post, fax or e-mail (details below).
• The Legal Register Centre accepts free-form written applications for criminal record extracts (see below).
• The Finnish embassy in London does not accept applications for criminal record disclosure.

What must the applicant supply?

• A free-form letter containing the following information:
• Full Name (and any previous names)
• Finnish ID Code
• Date and Place of Birth
• Full address details and contact telephone number
• Language certificate is to be issued in
• Separate proof of identity is only required for applications that are delivered in person to the Legal Register Centre. Acceptable forms of identification include a valid passport or driver ́s licence.
An application for an Extract on Criminal Background must include the name of the employer or authority, and details of the office or duty, for whom/which the extract is requested.

What are the costs/turnaround?

• An Extract on Criminal Background is issued free of charge.
• A fee of €10 (approx GBP £10.00) for a Criminal Record Extract for a Visa Application, payable by the applicant. An invoice for the fee is released with the extract.
• Processing time for both types of criminal record extract is approximately one week. The Legal Register Centre does not provide a fast-track disclosure service.

Contact Details

The Legal
Register Centre handles all applications for criminal record extracts. Its contact details are:
Oikeusrekisterikeskus (Legal Register Centre)
PO Box 157
13101 Hameenlinna Finland
Tel: + (0035)8 10 36 65662
Fax: + (0035)8 10 36 65783
Website: www.oikeus.fi/oikeusrekisterikeskus/12727.htm
Email: oikeusrekisterikeskus@om.fi
Application forms can be downloaded from
http://www.oikeus.fi/oikeusrekisterikeskus/18619.htm
Applications for standard or comprehensive security clearance checks are accepted by the Finnish
Security Police. Its contact details are:
Finnish Security Police
Ratakatu 12
P.O. Box 151>
FI-00121 Helsinki
Finland
Tel: + (0035)8 71 878 0131
Fax: + (0035)8 71 878 4850
Website: http://www.poliisi.fi/poliisi/supo/home.nsf/pages/indexeng
Email: suojelupoliisi@poliisi.fi
Applications for concise security clearance checks are handled by local police stations. Links to local police stations can be found (in Finnish only) on the Finnish police service website via the link below: http://www.poliisi.fi/poliisi/home.nsf/pages/0C8BF 3843A3BDD28C2257530002EC9AC?opendocument
Embassy of Finland
38 Chesham Place
London
SW1X 8HW
Tel: 020 7838 6200
Fax: 020 7235 3680
Email: sanomat.lon@formin.fi

Finland – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

Finland is not a regional center for money laundering, financial crime or illegal commerce. Over the past decade, Finland repeatedly has placed first or second on Transparency International‘s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The major sources of illegal proceeds in Finland relate to financial crimes, and the majority of suspicious financial activities investigated have an international dimension. These funds are normally laundered through currency exchangers and gambling establishments. The number of organized crime groups has grown slightly in the past few years, as has the number of their members. Terrorism related fund-raising, to the extent it exists, appears to be less of a problem than in other European countries.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

A PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: YES

Finland – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Finnish Law:

    • Credit and financial institutions
    • Investment firms, fund management companies and custodians
    • The central securities depository and book entry registrars
    • Payment institutions and money remitters
    • Insurance companies, local mutual insurance associations, and insurance intermediaries
    • Authorized pension insurance companies
    • Apartment rental agencies and real estate agents
    • Auditors, lawyers, notaries, and accountants
    • Pawn shops and dealers in high value goods
    • Casinos and gaming entities

Finland – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 14,213 from January to June 2011

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Finnish Law:

  • Credit and financial institutions
  • Investment and fund management companies
  • Insurance brokers and insurance companies
  • Apartment rental agencies and real estate agents
  • Pawn shops
  • Betting services
  • Casinos
  • Non-bank financial institutions
  • Management companies
  • Custodians of mutual funds
  • Auditors
  • Auctioneers
  • Lawyers
  • Notaries
  • Accountants
  • Dealers in high value goods
  • Money remitters
  • Tax advisory and financial management services
  • Repossession agents and bankruptcy ombudsmen

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: One in 2010
Convictions: One in 2010

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

The Government of Finland (GOF) has a comprehensive anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing regime. It should continue to enhance its laws and regulations as necessary to adhere to international standards.

Amendments to the scope of the money laundering offense entered into force on June 1, 2011, based on the recommendations of an inter-ministerial working group. The amendments add possession of criminal proceeds to the essential elements of money laundering and include negligent money laundering within the scope of criminal liability of a legal person.

The fact self-laundering of funds is not a crime in Finland, and that it is not possible to prosecute for self-laundering, has an impact on the low number of cases. Individuals suspected of laundering money are often convicted for other crimes. A working group was appointed by the Ministry of Justice in December 2010 to consider criminal sanctioning of self-laundering. The group released its report on May 31, proposing criminalization of self-laundering in the most severe cases. The amendment proposal was circulated for comments. With the comments completed, it could take several months or even up to a year before the amendment comes up for a vote.

The financial intelligence unit has the ability to freeze a transaction for up to five business days in order to determine the legitimacy of the funds. Funds can remain frozen for an extended period when linked to a criminal investigation. According to the Coercive Measures Act, all restraining and freezing orders must be presented to the court every four months. A new order can be given for a “reasonable time”, but it is yet unclear how long that time can ultimately be.

Risk

Sovereign risk

Finland’s public finances are in relatively good shape. Although government debt is currently rising, it will remain low by international standards; The Economist Intelligence Unit expects it to peak at 62.1% of GDP in 2016, before gradually falling to 59.6% by 2019. Fiscal policy remains relatively tight, notwithstanding the government’s planned stimulus measures for 2015.

Banking sector risk

Finland’s banks, some of which are part of pan-Nordic banks, have relatively strong capital ratios and limited exposure to the most vulnerable EU countries. The conclusion in late 2014 of an asset quality review and a round of stress tests across the euro zone should lead to improved confidence in the bloc’s banking sector. However, lending conditions are likely to be slow to recover.

Political risk

Political risk has increased as April’s general election approaches. We expect a change in government, with the main opposition Centre Party (KESK) set to garner the most votes. The KESK is likely to fall short of an overall majority, but coalition negotiations should be straightforward. With potential partners on both the left and the right, political diversity will remain a feature of Finland’s government.

Economic structure risk

Finland’s economy is dependent on large telecommunications and forestry sec‘tors. The role of Nokia as a major employer, investor and exporter has diminished in recent years. Retail, tourism, and export-oriented sectors in Finland will be badly hit by an expected slump in Russian demand in 2015.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

Petty crime (pickpocketing, bag snatching) occurs, particularly from April to September. Be particularly vigilant at automated banking machines (ABMs), the Helsinki railway station, the Helsinki metro, the Esplanade and trams.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur periodically and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations, follow the advice of local authorities, and monitor local media.

Road travel

Driving can be hazardous in winter. Icy road conditions are common. Some roads may close, particularly in northern areas. Be wary of moose wandering on major highways.

For updates on road conditions, visit the Finnish website on Travel and traffic information.

Public Transportation

Public transportation (bus, train, tram and subway) is extensive and very efficient.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times, especially on public transportation.

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

STREET_NAME HOUSE_NUMBER [APARTMENT] [FLOOR]
POSTAL_CODE LOCALITY
FINLAND

Sample

Anna Sari
Kuusikkotie 1-3
00630 HELSINKI
FINLAND

 

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2014-09-05 07:00 AM Q2 -0.1% -0.3% (R) 1.08%
2014-12-05 07:00 AM Q3 0.1% 0.1% (R)
2015-03-02 07:00 AM Q4 -0.2% 0.1% -0.27%
2015-06-04 07:00 AM Q1 -0.2% -0.1%
2015-06-04 07:00 AM Q1 -0.2% 0.34%
2015-08-14 07:00 AM Q2
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