Denmark’s biggest bank reports on its Estonian shambles

“THE bank has clearly failed to live up to its responsibility,” said Ole Andersen, chairman of Danske Bank, on September 19th. Well, indeed. The findings of an inquiry into the laundering of money, much of it from Russia, through Danske’s Estonian branch are sobering. The euro amount rinsed through the branch’s books runs to 12 digits and Danske missed chance after chance to stop the sluice. To no one’s surprise its chief executive, Thomas Borgen, has resigned.

Denmark’s biggest bank had already admitted doing too little to prevent the abuse of its branch between 2007, when it bought Finland’s Sampo Bank, the unit’s owner, and 2015. An 87-page report by Bruun & Hjejle, a law firm, both tries to quantify the suspicious activity and traces how Danske’s anti-laundering procedures went so catastrophically wrong.

The main conduit was the branch’s “non-resident portfolio”, comprising about 10,000 accounts, of which 3,000-4,000 were open at any one time. The branch also...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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