Denmark to investigate Danske Bank over money laundering allegations
Copenhagen: Denmark’s state prosecutor has started a criminal investigation into Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) over allegations the lender had been involved in money laundering through its Estonian branch.
The investigation concerns transactions worth billions of Danish crowns that might have been part of criminal money laundering, the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime said in a statement on Monday.
Shares in Danske Bank have fallen almost a quarter this year following allegations its Estonia branch was involved in money laundering of some 53 billion Danish crowns (£6.35 billion) between 2007 and 2015.
Danske Bank has admitted to flaws in its anti-money laundering controls in Estonia in the past and has launched its own investigation, the results of which are expected in September.
The prosecutor said it was too early to say whether its investigation would lead to criminal proceedings.
Last week, Estonia’s general prosecutor said it had begun a criminal investigation over allegations that Denmark’s largest bank had been involved in money laundering through the Baltic country.
The Danish prosecutor said it had received a number of criminal complaints in the case. Bill Browder, once the biggest foreign money manager in Russia, last month filed criminal complaints in both Denmark and Estonia concerning Danske Bank.
“We are of course at the disposal of (the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime) in their investigation,” Flemming Pristed, Danske Bank’s group general counsel, said in an email.
“We have an ongoing constructive dialogue with the authorities, and we are available if there are questions that the prosecutor wishes to get clarified further,” he said.
The prosecutor said it had already gathered extensive investigative material and was working with a number of international partners on the case.