INTERNATIONAL – Danske Bank’s chief executive Thomas Borgen quit on Wednesday in a money laundering scandal which involved $234 billion (R3.4 trillion) flowing through its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, most of which was suspicious.
“It is clear that Danske Bank has failed to live up to its responsibility in the case of possible money laundering in Estonia. I deeply regret this,” Borgen said in a statement which detailed failings in compliance, communication and controls.
Regulators and the financial community will scrutinise the Danske Bank report, which follows calls by Brussels for a new EU watchdog to crack down on financial crime after a series of scandals involving anti-money laundering controls.
Dutch bank ING this month admitted criminals had been able to launder money through its accounts and agreed to pay $900 million to settle the case.
A third of Danske Bank’s stock market value has been wiped out in the last six months, mainly driven by concerns over a possible inquiry by US authorities and the penalties this could entail.