Government, ministries to look into potential damage claims against Danske

Danske Bank logo.
Danske Bank logo. Source: ERR

The government discussed the Danske Bank money laundering case in its Thursday cabinet meeting. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said at the following press conference that several institutions should be involved in consultations concerning potential damage claims, including the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bank of Estonia and the Financial Supervision Authority (FSA).

According to the prime minister, the government decided to look into potentially submitting claims to compensate for the damage done to Estonia's reputation in connection with the Danske money laundering case.

Working with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bank of Estonia and the Estonian FSA, options could then be defined that Estonia might have to claim damages, Mr Ratas said.

"We didn't decide today whether or not it is possible at all to demand damages, and whether or not Estonia will make such demands," he added.

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said that his suggestion is to cooperate with the government agencies of the United States currently investigating the case to the greatest possible extent. Should their investigations lead to a court verdict or a deal with Danske Bank, the sums involved could easily go beyond several hundred million euros, Mr Reinsalu said. Out of those, in turn, Estonia might then receive compensation as well.

The minister added that there have been similar cases before when the US and Estonian authorities cooperated and later shared the assets claimed from the company involved.

Danske's Estonian branch is under investigation for dubious transfers through the bank in the amount of some €200 billion. Investigations are currently ongoing in several places around the world. The Estonian FSA meanwhile has ordered the close of the Estonian branch, leaving Danske eight months to shut up shop.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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