French authorities likely relaunching Danske investigation, says bank
Danske Bank, whose Estonian branch is at the centre of a major ongoing money laundering scandal, announced on Friday that it may come under formal investigation for a second time in France.
According to the bank, French judicial authorities are considering launching a formal investigation in connection with alleged organised money laundering, and representatives of the bank have already been summoned for questioning, Reuters reported.
A Paris court had previously already launched a formal investigation into Danske Bank in connection with allegations of money laundering at its Estonian branch, but beginning last January, the court began handling Danske as an "assisting witness."
Hermitage Capital Management investment fund founder and CEO Bill Browder announced on Thursday that he had requested French authorities to investigate Danske Bank as a suspect in rather than a witness to alleged money laundering. It is currently unclear as to whether the French authorities' planned step was a direct result of Browder's request.
Between 2007-2015, €200 billion in transactions took place via Danske Bank's Estonian branch, a significant number of which are currently considered suspect. Since the scandal broke, Thomas F. Borgen resigned as CEO of Danske Bank, and financial sector rules and control mechanisms have faced increased scrutiny in a number of EU member states.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla