Denmark launches criminal probe of Danske Bank
Denmark's public prosecutor for special economic crime has begun a criminal investigation against Danske Bank A/S for potential money-laundering offenses.
The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime's investigation announced Monday relates to transactions carried out through the bank's Estonian branch. Danske Bank launched an internal investigation of the same transactions last year following reports in Danish media alleging that its Estonian branch was used to launder money from 2007 to 2015.
The Danish bank's general counsel, Flemming Pristed, said Danske Bank is assisting prosecutors with the investigation. "We have a good and constructive dialogue on an ongoing basis with the authorities," he said.
The lender previously has declined to comment on the specifics of the money-laundering allegations until the investigation conclu des, but acknowledged there were insufficient controls at the Estonian unit.
Danske Bank has said its internal probe would be complete by September. In July, the Danish bank named a new chief compliance officer and said it would waive income linked to the suspicious transactions in Estonia.
The bank said at the time it was unable to determine the extent of the transactions or the income generated from it. Its prior chief compliance officer earlier in July said he would step down.
Danske Bank has known about the issues surrounding the Estonian branch for years, according to a timeline posted on its website.
It received an email in December 2013 from an internal whistleblower whose concerns led to a probe from the audit department in early 2014. Danske Bank shut down its "nonresident portfolio" at the branch in 2015, but widened its internal probes following media reports.
Hedge-fund manager Bill Browder has alleged that Russians laundered billions through the bank, and he submitted complaints to authorities in Denmark and Estonia laying out his concerns. Estonian authorities last week said they had begun a criminal investigation.Source: Google News Denmark | Netizen 24 Denmark