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Financial Times: Danske may face billion-dollar fines over Estonian scandal

Danske bank's head office in Copenhagen.
Danske bank's head office in Copenhagen. Source: Reuters/Scanpix

Danske Bank might be facing a criminal investigation by United States federal prosecutors into its €200 billion money-laundering scandal, raising the possibility of a large fine for Denmark's biggest lender, the Financial Times reported.

Danske disclosed earlier on Thursday that it has had requests for information from the US Department of Justice, but that the timing and outcome of the probe into alleged money-laundering through its Estonian branch is unknown.

"We are cooperating with the authorities investigating us as a result of the case. However, it is too early to speculate on any outcome of the investigations," Jesper Nielsen, Danske's interim CEO, said.

The Danish government has said that it is doing everything it can to keep Danske from suffering a fate similar to that of ABLV, a Latvian lender that was forced into liquidation earlier this year after US authorities ordered their own banks to stop clearing dollar transactions on ABLV's behalf.

According to the Financial Times, analysts think that Danske could soon be facing fines in the billions of dollars over the scandal. According to analysts at Jyske Bank, the fine could end up in the $8 billion-dollar range on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Wall Street Journal reported already in mid-September that the Justice Department, Treasury Department and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have all been looking into the case of Danske Bank following a confidential whistleblower's complaint filed with the SEC more than two years ago.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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