Bloomberg: Danske still not recovered from money laundering scandal

Former Danske offices in Tallinn.
Former Danske offices in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Danske Bank still suffers from both reputational damage and a loss of custom, over three years after the media reports shed light on the full extent of money laundering activity – which itself had been taking place a decade ago – according to a recent article in media portal Bloomberg.

The largest bank in Denmark and one of the largest in the Nordics is still picking up the pieces from the money laundering scandal which engulfed it, centering on its Tallinn branch, from 2019, and is still the subject of ongoing criminal investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, which continue to dog the organization even as corporate clients have largely moved on, Bloomberg reports.

Over €200 billion in potentially illicit funds are thought to have passed through Danske's Tallinn branch in the years 2007-2015 in a highly complex case which has also crossed over into the money streams of two other major banks active in Estonia, SEB and Swedbank.

While criminal charges have been dropped against the then-Danske CEO, Thomas Borgen, the latter is still subject of shareholder litigation, while, Borgen's successor-but-one, Carsten Egeriis, admitted to Bloomberg that it is haemorrhaging market share, a trend confirmed by Bloomberg's senior banking analyst Philip Richards, even as Danske does not publish quarterly reports of customer flows, which would, Bloomberg says, show an even clearer picture of the decline.

Thomas Borgen's immediate successor, Chris Vogelzang, resigned in April following another money-laundering probe, this time by authorities in his native Netherlands.

The bank was not only plagued by money laundering allegations – it was also found to have taken on low-income clients, and was also fined for not keeping investors adequately informed of losses, Bloomberg reports.

The original Bloomberg piece is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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