INTERNATIONAL – The money laundering scandal at Danske Bank deepened on Thursday when the Danish lender said it had received an inquiry from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
To bolster its defence, Danske, already under investigation in a number of countries, nominated former Dutch finance minister and ex-ABN Amro chief executive Gerrit Zalm to its board.
Danske is being investigated in Denmark, Estonia, France and Britain over €200 billion in payments found to have flowed through its Estonian branch from Russia, former Soviet states and elsewhere.
The SEC is now also carrying out inquiries, adding to an ongoing criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in relation to the case of possible money laundering at Danske’s Estonia branch.
The value of Denmark’s largest bank has almost halved since last March, with investors concerned by the threat of hefty fines. The news about a new investigation by the SEC pushed its shares down a further 3.7 percent by 2:15pm.