Friday 22 February 2019

Danske Bank in fresh money laundering probe after CEO quits

European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said she will discuss the Danske Bank case with the finance ministers of Denmark, Finland and Estonia on October 2 (stock picture)
European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said she will discuss the Danske Bank case with the finance ministers of Denmark, Finland and Estonia on October 2 (stock picture)

Teis Jensen

Danske Bank faces a new Danish investigation into alleged money laundering a day after revealing payments totalling €200bn through its Estonian branch, many of which were suspicious.

CEO Thomas Borgen resigned on Wednesday after an investigation it had commissioned exposed failings in controls and compliance.

The bank's report prompted widespread political criticism and has persuaded Denmark's Financial Services Authority (FSA) to revisit a case which it had put on ice earlier this year, but is reported to have attracted the attention of US authorities.

"We're reopening the investigation of the bank that we initially closed in May," said FSA head Jesper Berg.

While authorities in the United States have yet to say whether they are investigating the payments, many of which came from Russia and other former Soviet states, Danske Bank's case will be high on the agenda of European Union states.

European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said she will discuss the Danske Bank case with the finance ministers of Denmark, Finland and Estonia on October 2.

She will also discuss the case with the European Banking Authority.

"I want to understand better where the main errors happened, whether it was purely the fault of the lack of due diligence done by the bank itself or whether there was also some mistakes at the level of supervisory authorities," she said.

Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen voiced his concern over the failings exposed by the country's biggest lender, saying he was "shocked" at the scope of the suspicious payments and pushed the bank for more answers.

"The fact that Denmark has been at the centre of money laundering of this size is frankly quite horrible," Rasmussen told reporters outside a meeting of European Union leaders in Salzburg.

Reuters

Reuters

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