Danske Bank money laundering 'is biggest scandal in Europe'

Danske Bank hit with new money laundering probe

The scandal engulfing Danske cost the lender's chief executive his job this week as investigators struggled to determine just how much dirty money transited through its Estonian subsidiary.

"I should have been more engaged in the Estonian business from the beginning", said Borgen, who joined the Copenhagen-based bank in 1997 and became its CEO in 2013. However, the bank did not give any timelines as to how long it would take to find Borgen's replacement.

Sampo, however, has not yet been found to be responsible for anything connected to the scandal, so it is possible that it could avoid the Nordic region's biggest money laundering case altogether.

Anderson, in an interview with Bloomberg, clarified that he was not ruling out anything at this time with regard to the actual size of the "suspicious" transactions.

Prior to the release of the report, it had been alleged that $150 billion in questionable funds had been funneled through Danske Bank's Estonian division by non-resident clients between 2007 and 2015. However, how much of that amount is suspicious has not been specified.

In 2017, Denmark ranked 2 in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index. We have seen several cases where financial institutions in countries with clean reputations were used for laundering money.

Its investigation is under civil, not criminal, law.


The bank said it was unable to determine where the money came from, noting that some 23 percent of incoming funds were received from Russian Federation. Danske Bank does not wish to benefit financially from suspicious transactions that took place in the non-resident portfolio of its Estonian branch in the period from 2007 to 2015, the bank wrote, adding: As the bank is not able to provide an accurate estimate of the amount of suspicious transactions made by non-resident customers in Estonia during the period, the Board of Directors has chose to donate the gross income from the customers in the period from 2007 to 2015, which is estimated at $235M, to an independent foundation.

Borgen, 54, was in charge of Danske Bank's global operations including Estonia between 2009 and 2012. Approximately 70 people have worked full time on the investigations.

The findings, published Wednesday in an 87-page report, show that billions moved through the unit in Estonia, which like its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania, is a member of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. According to analysts as well as investors, there are a lot of questions that the bank has not given any answers to in this report.

The foundation will be "set up to support initiatives aimed at combating worldwide financial crime, including money laundering, also in Denmark and Estonia".

According to Citi Research analysts, this report by Danske does not show ownership about the issue that the market had hoped.

Danske's shares fell another 8%, taking the total losses for the year to 32%.

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