Denmark may overhaul finance authority in wake of Danske case

Danske Bank's head branch in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Danske Bank's head branch in Copenhagen, Denmark. Source: AFP/Scanpix

The Danish government says it is planning to look at its financial regulatory body in the light of the Danske money laundering scandal, which saw over €200 billion in illicit funds allegedly pass through the bank's Tallinn branch over several years, according to a report in UK daily the Financial Times (FT).

Danish finance and entrepreneurship minister Rasmus Jarlov told the FT the government is planning to look at ways to improve the Danish Financial Services Authority (FSA) early in 2019, as well as questions on the demarcation of responsibility between the FSA and the banking sector, and Danske's position as the flagship national bank.

The Danish FSA has been repeatedly criticised variously for being to close to Danske or not being effective in the lead up to the crisis fully coming to public attention through the course of 2018. Amongst other links under scrutiny is the fact that a former FSA head of financial supervision, Henrik Ramlau-Hansen, had earlier worked as a finance officer at Danske.

Other possible hints at the cosy relationship came when an announcement by current FSA director general Jesper Berg that forecasts of the fines likely to be imposed on Danske had been somewhat overstated was followed by a rise in Danske's share price.

The head of Danske itself, Norwegian Tomas S. Borgen, resigned as CEO in September 2018 directly as a result of the scandal. In December the Office of the Prosecutor General in Estonia named close to a dozen suspects in the case who had worked in the Tallinn branch, among them the bank's former head of private banking as well as several former managers.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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