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Danske Bank board member resigns over Estonian money laundering probe

Danske Bank A/S executive board member Lars Mørch, who had been responsible for the bank's Baltic operations since 2012, resigned from his position on Thursday.

Danske Bank announced on Thursday that Mørch has resigned from his position as member of its executive board amid a probe into money laundering in Estonia.

"I respect Lars Mørch's decision to resign," board chairman Ole Andersen said. "Although the ongoing investigations into the issues related to the Estonian non-resident portfolio have not been completed, it is now clear that the bank should have undertaken more thorough investigations at an earlier point. Such investigations would have led us to understand the full extent of the issues sooner and prompted swifter actions. We have discussed this situation with Lars Mørch over the last few weeks."

According to Andersen, the board of directors remains committed to getting to the bottom of the issues related to the closed Estonian non-resident portfolio and present the conclusions of the ongoing investigations when they are ready.  

The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority in February announced that it had conducted inspections in the Estonian branch of Danske Bank in 2014, during which the authority identified extensive, long-term and systematic violations of norms concerning the blocking of money laundering. The regulator also determined that Danske had not sufficiently analyzed its client Lantana Trade LLP.

In the course of the abovementioned proceedings, Danske's Estonian branch did not provide proof on there being an internal analysis in which suspicions about Lantana Trade LLP's real beneficiary or corresponding business were detected or presented. Among other things, the contents of the complaint filed with the bank by the Financial Supervision Authority addressed the branch's inactivity concerning the aforementioned company Estonia's financial regulator said.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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