The European Banking Authority (EBA) has opened a formal investigation into a possible violation of EU law related to money laundering activities related to Danske Bank and its Estonian branch in particular.
The investigation alleges that the offense may have been caused by the Estonian Financial Services Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) and the Danish Financial Services Authority (Finanstilsynet), the regulatory authorities of the Czech Republic. countries in charge of the supervision of the bank and each of its geographical branches.
This was followed by the closure of all Estonian operations by the bank at the request of the Estonian regulator itself.
"We recognize that the serious case of possible money laundering in Estonia has had a negative impact on Estonian society and we recognize that the Estonian FSA believes, in this context, that it is better for Danske Bank to a term to its Estonian banking activities, "said Jesper Nielsen. , Acting CEO of Danske Bank.
Regardless of the demand of the Estonian regulator, Danske has also closed Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as activities in Russia.
Nielsen comments: "In recent years, we have continued our strategy of concentrating on our main Nordic markets and have also reduced our activities in the Baltic countries. The decision to completely close our operations in the Baltic countries and in Russia is fully in line with this strategy. "
This launch of this survey follows a letter from the European Commission. This letter invites EBA to use its powers to examine whether the competent Estonian and Danish competent authorities may have failed in their obligations under EU law.
Before officially opening the investigation, EBA said it had conducted preliminary investigations with both authorities.
This case has a long history. As reported in 2017, Nordea and Danske were under investigation for violation of money laundering.
As for recent events, in December 2018, the Estonian police arrested ten former employees of Danske for a money laundering case of an amount of 200 million euros.
In November 2018, the value of Deutsche Bank shares fell after confirmation of its involvement in the case. Shortly thereafter, the headquarters of Deutsche Bank and other premises in Germany were raided by the police.
There have been several other twists – for example in October 2018, when Danske received requests for information from the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) as part of the case.
In September 2018, Thomas F. Borgen, CEO of Danske Bank, resigned over this issue.