Danske bank saga continues as US now opens investigation

Danske bank saga continues as US now opens investigation
Copyright Reuters
By Jez Fielder with AP
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Danske bank saga continues as US now opens investigation


The government of the United States has launched a criminal probe into the money laundering scandal uncovered last month by Denmark's biggest bank.

Danske bank announced the US probe on Thursday when the lender stated it is “in dialogue” with the US Department of Justice.

The DOJ had requested information after Danske's internal report discovered a massive amount of money laundering through its Estonian branch, with some of it reportedly linked to family members of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the AP.

The results of Danske Bank’s internal investigation were published last month and found that some €200 billion ($235 billion) flowed through the bank’s accounts from 2007 to 2015. Its CEO, Thomas Borgen, resigned over the case, saying it was "clear that Danske Bank has failed to live up to its responsibility".

Danske’s interim chief executive, Jesper Nielsen, said on Thursday it was "too early to speculate on any outcome of the (new) investigations.”

The findings prompted Denmark’s financial regulator to reopen a probe and Danish prosecutors have started a criminal investigation.

The bank also said Thursday that Danish regulators have ordered it to reassess its finances to make sure it has enough capital to cover any potential fines or other losses related to the scandal.

The bank said Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority told them its solvency need should amount to at least 10 billion kroner (€1.34 billion).

As a precaution, Danske Bank decided to discontinue a share buy-back program as of Thursday. The share buy-back for a total of 10 billion kroner, with a maximum of 85 million shares, was due to end by February 1.

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