Landsbankinn Iceland’s largest bank by C.F. Møller Architects



The new building of Iceland’s largest bank designed by C.F. Møller Architects, in collaboration with ARKÞING, Landsbankinn in Reykjavik, is not only the city’s bank but also the city’s house: the building interacts with and includes the entire city while offering architecture in close relation to raw Icelandic nature and the city. historic urban fabric.

Analysis Strengthens Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

All banks must balance customer service with a growing risk portfolio. This requires financial institutions to have a strategy – and the right technology – to integrate data from their core banking systems and third-party sources to effectively monitor illicit activity.

For Landsbankinn, finding this balance is crucial for its compliance staff. The bank has 123,300 individual customers and 13,600 businesses. With a market share of 39% in Iceland, it is included in the list of Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIB) according to the Financial Stability Board. And like any financial institution, Landsbankinn must review transactions for suspicious activity.

The SAS motto, “The Power of Knowledge,” is absolutely accurate. This has allowed people who don’t understand the complexity of data to start using it more effectively.

Landsbankinn seeks to comply with the strictest requirements regarding money laundering, criminal financing and other illegal activities,” says Thordur Orlygsson, Chief Compliance Officer at Landsbankinn. “And to meet these demands, we need a sophisticated and robust solution.”

The company chose SAS Anti-Money Laundering to identify patterns in its data. Landsbankinn also uses SAS Visual Analytics to provide data visualization capabilities to analysts across the organization.

Reducing false positives

Although the vast majority of transactions processed by Landsbankinn do not trigger any alerts, a few may indicate suspicious activity. This is where the company’s compliance team comes in.

“It is not possible for us to manually review all transactions,” explains Orlygsson. “We need a system like SAS to help us perform pattern analysis to identify suspicious transactions and refer them for investigation.”

Before turning to SAS, Landsbankinn had a detection system that detected about 1,000 false positive transactions each day – positives that the previous system flagged but were not actually illegal or out of bounds. With a limited number of investigators, one of the goals was to reduce this number to focus on truly suspicious claims.

“We wanted the number of false positives to be much lower,” says Skuli Jensson, head of risk solutions at Landsbankinn. “Within a few months, we reduced that number to around 100 per day. The fewer false positives we get, the more we can focus on the true positives.

The company conducted tuning exercises with SAS to refine the solution to meet its needs. This effort, combined with a powerful enterprise data warehouse, gave the compliance team the building blocks needed to conduct more effective anti-money laundering efforts.

“It’s important to create new scenarios and then adapt them to different situations,” says Jensson. “We can change the parameters of the scenarios so that the bank can report things more effectively. Our team can work more efficiently and the people who previously analyzed false positives can work on other things.

The building supports Landsbankinn’s values of being in close interaction with the outside world. This problem is solved by creating a specific, eventful, flexible and efficient building, which becomes a “daily landmark” for Reykjavik.

The raw Icelandic nature, the volcanic basalt stone, the horizontal layers of the rock and the atmosphere of the caves and crevices were a source of inspiration in the design of the project. This approach goes from the exterior of the building to its interior.

The internal organization of the building aligns with Landsbankinn’s vision of a public realm open to the exterior. Most of the public functions are located on the ground floor and along the facade of the building, thus activating a new pedestrian street leading to the Harpa concert hall. Internally, a protected public passage connects these new facilities, thus becoming a new natural shortcut through the city.

Workspace design is primarily based on the desire to provide as much flexibility as possible. Office spaces are therefore designed as flexible, efficient and open workplaces, allowing for changes over time.





Reykjavik, Iceland


22,000 m²




1st prize in architectural competition. 2018




C.F. Møller Architects in collaboration with ARKÞING


C.F. Møller Architects


  • 1st prize in architectural competition. 2018

C.F. Møller Architects

C.F. Møller Architects is one of Scandinavia’s leading architectural firms, with 90 years of award-winning work in the Nordic region and around the world.

Every day we create architectural quality based on innovation, experience and Nordic values. This ensures sustainable and aesthetic solutions with lasting value for customers, occupants and society.

A unique design approach

Our design solutions are created in a methodical and holistic manner following rigorous analysis of the local context. We seek to set new global standards by fostering a design approach that uniquely integrates urban planning, landscape, architecture and the design of specific building components.

We consider environmental concerns, resource awareness, sound project financing, social responsibility and know-how as essential elements of our work. This spirit is fundamental in all our projects, a common thread that runs from the master plan to the detailed design.

Since our founding in Denmark in 1924, we have contributed significantly to the development of welfare societies in Scandinavia and the rest of the world. We are continually recognized and awarded internationally for setting new architectural standards, due to our strong focus on the functional, artistic and social value of architecture.

Today, C.F. Møller has a candidacy. 350 employees. Our head office is in Aarhus, Denmark and we have branches in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Oslo, Stockholm, Malmö and Berlin.

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