The National Discrimination Tribunal of Finland (Syrjintälautakunta) has given Nordea Bank Finland a conditional fine of 5,000 euros for not accepting a French identity card as proof of identity, the Tribunal said in a statement. Moreover, the Tribunal considered the bank’s refusal to serve the client and his removal from the premises as an infringement on his dignity and integrity.
Writes JusticeDemon: “A conditional fine is similar to a suspended prison sentence. Just as the felon must report to the parole office and stay out of trouble, a party that has been fined in this way must report back to the authority on its further conduct.”
“The Tribunal considered that no official instructions or the Bank’s own instructions prevented the Bank from accepting the petitioner’s French identity card as proof of identity. Because the petitioner’s French identity card is accepted as a travel document across the European Union, its reliability is comparable to an identity card issued by Finnish authorities when establishing a person’s identity,” according to the statement.
Foreigners who are stateless have had an especially hard time in opening bank accounts in Finland because it says on their passport that the person’s identity cannot be verified, Migrant Tales reported in March 2011.
Even so, some banks have given stateless persons a bank account but without the right to online banking. Other banks require a valid driver’s license, while other ones don’t accepted it as valid identification.
The National Discrimination Tribunal is an impartial and independent judicial body established under the Non-Discrimination Act and appointed by the Government.