Foreign nationals can in principle open bank accounts in Finland in the same manner as the Finns do themselves. According to law, however, the bank must be able to identify its customers, and this may prove more difficult in the case of foreign nationals. In addition to personal and address data, the bank often needs to know the person's identifier code (ie social security number). A number of banks require the presentation of either a work permit, a certificate of studies or a letter of recommendation from a trustworthy bank, and details of the nature of payments to be made over the account.
The operations of the Bank of Finland's printing works, established in 1885, were incorporated into Setec Oy in 1991. The Bank of Finland, which had been the sole owner of the printing works for more than a hundred years, sold off 60% of its holdings in 1998 and the rest in 2003. Setec Oy is currently part of an international group, Gemalto, which acts in international markets for digital security. The group's works in Vantaa continue to manufacture traditional security printing products even if the focus of operations is on various smart card solutions. Should you have any questions concerning share certificates or other security printing products, please contact Gemalto's Vantaa agency (Setec Oy).
The Bank of Finland does not sell gold. In Finland there are a few companies that sell gold; they can be searched via the Internet, for example. The price of gold as an investment asset depends on the world market and is subject to daily fluctuations.
There are no exchange controls in Finland. Funds from Finland or to Finland are freely transferable. Specific legal provisions are, however, in place to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism, to foster their revelation and investigation, and to provide greater efficiency to tracing and recovering the benefits yielded by such crimes. Therefore, in order to verify the legal origin of funds, an obligation has been imposed on credit institutions, practically on banks, to identify their customers and report on suspected cases. Those bound by the obligation must verify the identity of their regular customers. This same obligation includes customers other than regular customers in cases where a single payment transfer or interrelated payment transactions amounts/amount to a minimum of EUR 15 000. If payment transactions differ from customers' normal banking business, banks usually require written explanations of the origin of funds, even in connection with relatively small payments. If banks or others bound by the obligation have reason to suspect the legal origin of funds, they must immediately inform the National Bureau of Investigation thereof.As from 15 June 2007, all European Union member states will apply a regulation under which any person entering or leaving the European Community and carrying cash of a value of EUR 10 000 or more must declare that sum to customs authorities or other competent authorities. It should be noted that the regulation only provides for an obligation to declare, rather than restricting the amount of cash entering or leaving the Community. Cash means, in addition to banknotes and coins in circulation, some other monetary instruments such as cheques and negotiable promissory notes. Credit cards are not subject to the obligation to declare.
The clipping of banknotes took place at the turn of the year 1945–1946 as a means of forcing a loan to the state. The purpose of the measure was to curb inflation. Another aim was to reveal property hidden in taxation and to find out the amount of counterfeit national currency or its exports abroad. Tuukka Talvio, Ph.D., the curator of the Coin Cabinet of the National Museum of Finland, notes in his book Suomen rahat – The Coins and Banknotes of Finland (Finnish version, p. 86–87, third edition / English version, p. 84–85, second edition, Bank of Finland, 2003): ‘One purpose of the ‘clipping’ was to reveal monies hidden from the tax authorities. There was also talk of Finnish banknotes having been forged by the Germans during the war, but this apparently was only a false rumour.’ At the turn of the year 1945–1946 the three largest markka banknotes in the denominations of 5000, 1000 and 500 markka were cut in two. The left-hand halves were subsequently legal tender for half of their face value, until 16 February. The right-hand halves served as receipts for the loan thereby forced. Small denomination markka banknotes were not cut. Meanwhile, all banknotes were exchanged for new ones during the first two and a half months of 1946. The clipping only applied to cash held by the public. It did not apply to banknotes in the possession of the state, municipalities, monetary institutions, foreign nationals, etc. It was thus random on whom the measure fell. The Government submitted a bill on banknote clipping to Parliament on 21 November 1945. The ensuing act did not provide details or timetables for the clipping, but rumours had been circulating for a long time in advance. According to Tuukka Talvio, Greece served as a model, where banknotes had been clipped in 1922; according to Matti Virén, however, examples were Norway and Denmark, where similar measures had been taken in 1945. All the same, educated people either deposited large denomination notes with banks or used them for other investment. The forced loan, carrying 2% interest, was repaid in 1949. During this period, however, the annual rate of inflation had been 20%; hence, people incurred losses on the loan. Main source: Article by Matti Virén in the Unitas economic quarterly issue 4/1998 ‘Voidaanko inflaatiolta katkaista siivet’ (Can the wings of inflation be cut?).
The deposit guarantee scheme covers deposits made by the general public. All Finnish deposit banks must be members of the Deposit Guarantee Fund. The Fund reimburses customers' deposits in the event of a bank's failure to pay out the deposits. The Fund's liability for deposits with one bank is limited to a maximum of EUR 100,000 per customer. More information on the deposit guarantee can be obtained from the website of the Financial Supervisory Authority. http://www.finanssivalvonta.fi/en/Customer/Funds/Pages/Default.aspx
The Financial Supervision Authority's website also provides useful information to depositors and investors. http://www.finanssivalvonta.fi/en/Customer/Pages/Default.aspx