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Danske's Estonia branch handled $30 billion of non-residents' money in 2013 - FT

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Danske's Estonia branch handled $30 billion of non-residents' money in 2013 - FT
FILE PHOTO: Danske Bank sign is seen at the bank's Estonian branch in Tallinn, Estonia August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo   -   Copyright  Ints Kalnins(Reuters)
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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danske Bank <DANSKE.CO> handled up to $30 billion of non-residents’ money via its Estonian branch in 2013 according to an independent investigation, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The non-resident portfolio at the Estonian branch has been at the centre of allegations that the bank had flawed money laundering controls in the years from 2007 to 2015, which has led to criminal investigations in both Denmark and Estonia.

Danske Bank said in an email to Reuters it was not able to verify the information in the FT report.

“The matter is very complex, and no conclusion as to the number of suspicious customers or transactions – or indeed the extent of potential money laundering – can be drawn from any individual pieces of information taken out of context,” the bank said in the email.

Danske Bank has admitted to flaws in its anti-money laundering controls in Estonia and has launched its own inquiry and the results are expected this month.

The FT said the findings on the non-resident portfolio were contained in a draft report by consultancy Promontory Financial commissioned by Danske Bank.

“NRP [non-resident portfolio] transaction volume peaked in 2013 with the number of transactions approaching 80,000 that year, and the transaction volume approaching $30bn,” the FT said the independent findings showed.

The newspaper also said that not all of those transactions will be suspicious.

(Reporting by Teis Jensen. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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