Ex-head of Danske Estonia: Anti-money laundering measures were sufficient

Aivar Rehe.
Aivar Rehe. Source: Tairo Lutter

Aivar Rehe, who was CEO of Danske Bank Estonia during the years of alleged money laundering, told daily Postimees in an interview that while he cannot comment on allegations of money laundering, Danske's anti-money laundering measures were sufficient at the time.

"I believe we should let the proper authorities find the correct answers," Mr Rehe told a Postimees journalist. "It is very difficult and inappropriate for me to comment on where things stand today."

According to the former bank executive, anti-money laundering rules at Danske had been sufficient during the period when the activity in question took place.

"After all, we were an organisation subject to supervision, and it wasn't a one-off activity; it was continuous activity," he explained. "The bank was checked by both the supervisory authorities and the Bank of Estonia. Everything was transparent in that sense."

Mr Rehe said that while anti-money laundering rules during the period in question were significantly different from the present, banks were checked regularly.

"If you look at what the economy was ten years ago and what the attitude toward different regions and also the Russian economy was," he noted, "When misunderstandings arose between the states of Russia and Ukraine and the word 'sanction' came up, the political direction and, with it, banking changed."

Mr Rehe served as CEO of Danske Bank's Estonian branch from 2008-2015. From 2006-2007, he served as CEO of Sampo Pank, Danske's predecessor in Estonia.

Danske Bank is under investigation for alleged money laundering in Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the UK and the US.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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