The investigations relating to Danske Bank's Estonian branch

The conclusions of the investigations into Danske Bank’s Estonia branch initiated in the autumn of 2017 were presented on 19 September 2018. It is clear that the problems related to the Estonian branch were much bigger than anticipated when we initiated the investigations. The investigations showed that from 2007 and 2015 reprehensible conditions at our Estonian branch and at Group level allowed Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia to be misused for suspicious transactions, and they also showed that we reacted too late and too slowly.

Read more about the case in the report from the law firm Bruun & Hjejle, in the press release of 19 September, and here on this site, where you also can read about the measures we are taking to prevent something similar from happening again.

Read the report

When you read the decision made by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority and the report from Bruun & Hjejle, it is obvious that we did too little too late when it became clear that there were serious problems with the portfolio of non-resident customers in Estonia. The case has caused us to strengthen business procedures, monitoring and controls, and we have invested many resources in AML measures, staff training and IT infrastructure upgrades. But what is vital for us as a bank is our ability to handle issues and matters that may arise – no matter how much we strive to avoid them – and then to ensure that we learn from them.

Karsten Dybvad

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Danske Bank

Danske Bank's effort to combat financial crime

Over the last years, Danske Bank has made substantial investments to improve our systems and competences to fight financial crime. These efforts will remain at the top of our agenda in the years to come as the methods of those who attempt to misuse the financial system continue to evolve and become more sophisticated.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that suspicious transactions will not take place. Each day, we do what we can to make it as difficult as possible to use Danske Bank for financial crime, including money laundering, and it has never been harder than it is today.

It is a key priority for us to strengthen and improve our efforts on an ongoing basis – and cooperate closely with authorities and others to achieve as strong a defence as possible against the criminal networks.

Our efforts are based on the following key initiatives:

  • Closing down banking operations in Estonia

    As of 1 October 2019, Danske Bank has essentially exited its banking activities in Estonia, with mainly technical matters outstanding. This follows a precept that the Estonian FSA issued in February 2019 prohibiting Danske Bank from operating in Estonia as a result of the case concerning our legacy non-resident portfolio in Estonia in the period from 2007 to 2015.

  • A strong compliance culture and development of competencies
    • Implementation of an AML centre means more efficient workflows and better opportunities to develop specialist competencies. 
    • Expansion of the internal training in anti-money laundering. During the last year alone, approximately 20,000 employees have participated in AML e-learning.
    • Nurture a strong compliance culture where compliance is not just a matter of rules and policies but is about conducting business with high ethical standards and acknowledging the impact on and responsibilities to society.
    • Information to all employees about our whistleblower system on an ongoing basis and yearly mandatory training that explains the system and how the bank protects employees who use it.
    • Implemented risk management and compliance in performance agreements of all members of the Executive Leadership Team and relevant senior managers.
  • Investments into more employees and new IT systems
    • In connection with the publication of our annual report in February, we have announced setting aside another DKK 2 billion in coming years to invest in improving both the quality and the effectiveness of our controls in the area, including by integrating control routines as part of the way in which we service our customers and create a good customer experience. 
    • Since 2015, the  number of employees working to combat financial crime and money laundering has increased sixfold, with the number now totalling around 1,900. 
    • Investments in IT systems for automated monitoring of bank transfers in order to better detect suspicious transactions. 
    • In 2018, we registered 207,000 alarms regarding unusual customer behaviour across the Group, and 10,380 reports were sent to the authorities regarding suspicious matters.

    o   In connection with the publication of our annual report in February, we have announced setting aside another DKK 2 billion in coming years to invest in improving both the quality and the effectiveness of our controls in the area, including by integrating control routines as part of the way in which we service our customers and create a good customer experience.

    o   In connection with the publication of our annual report in February, we have announced setting aside another DKK 2 billion in coming years to invest in improving both the quality and the effectiveness of our controls in the area, including by integrating control routines as part of the way in which we service our customers and create a good customer experience.

  • Strengthened organisation and updated procedures
    • Our Chief Compliance Officer is a member of the Executive Board and refers directly to our CEO.
    • Transfer of the responsibility for processing all reports from whistleblowers to the Group’s compliance unit to strengthen the handling of the reports.
    • Better independent quality-control procedures when collecting required information from new customers, as well as stronger processes for reviewing the money-laundering risk associated with individual customers.
    • New initiatives and procedures to ensure that indications of potentially problematic issues are sufficiently investigated, escalated in a timely manner and effectively handled.
    • We have established a central Regulatory Supervisory Management Unit at Group level to ensure transparency and completeness in the bank’s interaction with the supervisory authorities and duly, timely and qualified reporting. 

Frequently asked questions 

  • What are the facts of the case and the investigations?

    Until the end of 2015, Danske Bank had a portfolio of foreign customers in Estonia. These were so-called non-residents – that is, customers not residing in or conducting business from Estonia. For a large number of these customers, it was possible during the period from 2007 to 2015 to use Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia for suspicious payments, and according to the investigations led by Bruun & Hjejle, many of them appear to have been suspicious customers. 

    In other words, we had a large number of customers that should never have been customers with us and they made payments that should never have been made. 

    This took place because the Estonian branch had insufficient focus on compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) rules, that the branch operated too independently of the rest of the Group (it had its own IT platform, for example), and there were major deficiencies in the branch’s control systems and monitoring. At the same time, we also suspect that employees in Estonia actively participated in suspicious activities or colluded with customers. 

    The investigations have also shown that a number of the Group’s controls did not work properly in relation to Estonia. The Group did not take action at group level until problems were observed in 2014 in Estonia. Among other things, we responded to a report submitted by a whistleblower and following new investigations from Group Internal Audit. 

    However, it is clear today that our response was inadequate and too slow. There was a lack of understanding of the extent of the risk associated with running the business we had in Estonia, and at Group level, there was generally not sufficient focus on what went on at the Estonian branch.

    Danske Bank has clearly failed to live up to its responsibility in this matter. This is disappointing and unacceptable and we offer our apologies to all of our stakeholders – not least our customers, investors, employees and society in general.

  • How much money was laundered through your branch in Estonia?

    Our job is to identify suspicious customers and report their payments to the authorities. It is difficult for us to determine whether the money was obtained illegally. The authorities are in a position to collect more information, and it is up to them to assess the extent of money laundering.

  • Why can you not provide an estimate of the amount of suspicious transactions?

    The investigation covers some 15,000 customers with a total of 9.5 million transactions between them. 

    When we presented the investigations in September 2018, we had examined the 6,200 customers found to have hit the most risk indicators as part of the portfolio investigation. Of these, the vast majority have been reported to the authorities. 

    The investigation will establish the total number of suspicious customers but does not establish if all or just some transactions of said customers are suspicious. An investigation into that could not possibly be completed within any reasonable time frame. 

    Therefore, as with similar investigations in other banks, it is difficult to provide an accurate estimate of the amount of suspicious transactions.

    We are continuing to examine the remaining part of the portfolio and report to relevant authorities on an ongoing basis.

  • How could you not discover that such large amounts were changing hands?

    There is no doubt that we should have detected the problems at a much earlier stage. According to the investigators, there was never a proper overview of what took place at the Estonian branch. We overlooked the suspicious activities because we did not focus enough on and knew too little about that part of the business and the risk associated with it.

    Large transaction volumes are not necessarily a problem in themselves if AML procedures are in place. And in that respect, Danske Bank’s management in Copenhagen had the wrong impression that allowance had been made for the large risks associated with the portfolio. Furthermore, the Estonian branch was using its own IT systems, which impeded the Group’s insight into and control of the transactions. The total number of transactions has taken us by surprise.

    There are also indications that one or more employees at the Estonian branch have tried to conceal what was going on or have in some way taken part in suspicious activities. On the basis of the investigation, we have found reason to report 42 employees to the Estonian authorities, of which eight have been reported directly to the police. A number of employees have subsequently been charged by the Estonian police.

     

  • Which authorities are investigating the issue?

     We have an ongoing dialogue about the case, or parts of it, with the authorities in the US, Denmark, Estonia and France. 

    It is in Danske Bank’s interest to get to the bottom of this case, and we will of course cooperate with the authorities and make ourselves – and the knowledge we have – available to the investigations. In recent years, we have taken a number of initiatives, and the situation is today quite different from what it was at the time of the suspicious activities in Estonia. This work continues and is given high priority. 

  • What is the amount of potential fines?

    We do not want to speculate about that. We have kept relevant authorities updated and will share relevant findings with them. The authorities alone will decide on whether we will be fined and if so, how much. 

    Danske Bank is a very well-capitalised bank, and we thus have a very solid position to absorb any fines imposed on us as a result of the case.

  • How much of your earnings in Estonia will you waive?

    The Board of Directors has decided to donate the gross income from the customers in the period from 2007 to 2015, which is estimated at DKK 1.5 billion as the bank is not able to provide an accurate estimate of the amount of suspicious transactions made by non-resident customers in Estonia during the period.

    To the extent it is not confiscated by the authorities, the gross earnings will be transferred to an independent foundation, which will be set up to support initiatives aimed at combating international financial crime, including money laundering, including in Denmark and Estonia. The foundation will be set up independently from Danske Bank with an independent board.

    Unlike confiscation, any potential fine will not affect the amount of the donation.

  • What consequences will the conclusions of the investigations have for the persons responsible?

    On the Board of Directors, we have been very clear in saying that we would take any consequences necessary as a result of the case and launch initiatives to the extent that this has not already been done. On the basis of the investigations, we have taken a number of measures. First and foremost, they concern the employees who have not lived up to their responsibility or have been grossly negligent in the performance of their duties. By far most of those employees are no longer employed with Danske Bank, and for a number of employees in Estonia, suspicious behaviour has been reported to the authorities, just as eight of these employees have been reported to the police. There may also be consequences – also retroactively – for the variable pay of a number of senior managers and members of the Executive Leadership Team subject to criticism, who have participated in bonus schemes.

    Several persons in management and among the employees have left Danske Bank because of their involvement in the case, including former CEO Thomas F. Borgen. In December 2018, the chairman of the Board of Directors and the chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors both stepped down.

  • Who are the money launderers?

    We are obliged not to publish information that can identify specific customers or employees but the investigation concludes that a large proportion of customers in the non-resident portfolio has been suspicious.

    These customers have been reported to the authorities, and it is now up to them to investigate if there have been acts of money laundering or any other form of financial crime, and - if so - who is behind it.

  • Can you guarantee that something like this will not happen again?

    We will never be able to guarantee that suspicious transactions cannot take place. Financial crime, including money laundering, is a major global challenge, as criminals seek to exploit weaknesses in the financial system every single day. The banking community is doing a great deal, but the criminals and the networks that they are part of are becoming more and more sophisticated and are always trying to circumvent our systems and controls.

    Today, the situation is quite different when it comes to the combating of money laundering than it was when the case developed in Estonia. We have rectified the situation in Estonia and have ensured, among other things, that the portfolio in question was closed down. In recent years, we have scaled down our activities in Estonia and the other Baltic countries as part of our strategy to focus on our Nordic core markets.  

    On 19 February 2019, the Estonian supervisory authorities ordered us to close down our banking activities in Estonia. We have of course agreed to do so, and will begin the close-down as soon as possible. We have in fact decided to close down all of our banking activities also in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.

    Across the Group, we have strengthened our efforts to combat financial crime, including money laundering, significantly and have invested considerably in improving all three lines of defence (business, compliance and audit). Thus, more than 1,200 employees today work in this area.

    We have initiated a comprehensive AML programme, which has led to new organisational structures and new routines and procedures, and all employees take yearly mandatory training on anti-money laundering measures and compliance.

    We also invest in automating business procedures and upgrading the IT systems that support those procedures and improve anti-money laundering controls – among other things through better monitoring of bank transfers and suspicious customers. We are also improving the “know-your-customer” procedures used when welcoming new customers to Danske Bank. This gives us a far better overview and better monitoring of our customer’s activities.

    Most recently, in connection with the publication of our annual report in February, we have announced setting aside another DKK 2 billion in coming years to invest in improving both the quality and the effectiveness of our controls in the area, including by integrating control routines as part of the way in which we service our customers and create a good customer experience.

    It is a key priority for us to strengthen and improve our efforts on an ongoing basis – and cooperate closely with authorities and others to achieve as strong a defence as possible against the criminal networks.

  • Have you had similar issues elsewhere?

    As a natural consequence of this case, we are also looking into other parts of our business, including Latvia and Lithuania. We have not had the same type of business with the same type of portfolio in these countries and have no reason to believe that something similar has happened there, but we are of course looking into it.

  • How does this affect me as a customer?

    This will in no way affect your day-to-day business with us. This case will not affect our general ambition to operate a bank that is competitive for our customers.

    If you have questions regarding the case, you are of course always welcome to contact your adviser or your local branch.

  • Have you attempted to prevent the whistleblower from speaking with theauthorities?

    No employees of Danske Bank are contractually prevented from going to the police or other relevant authority if they have information about illegal circumstances. In the matter in question, we have said that we encourage anyone who has anything to contribute to pass their knowledge on to the authorities.

    As we have stated earlier, we will not stand in the way if a whistleblower participates in the public debate, including, for example, taking part in any public enquiries to the extent applicable legislation permits so. The whistleblower in the Estonia case has previously received a legal notification from us in which we gave our consent for the individual concerned to talk to the relevant supervisory authorities in Denmark and Estonia, among other countries, and in this connection, we have encouraged the individual concerned to do so. We have released the individual from all contractual stipulations regarding the duty of confidentiality . 

    It is not possible for us to do more than this. We cannot lift the statutory restrictions to which a whistleblower – like all others – is subject, e.g. duty of confidentiality in relation to customer information.

  • Can you comment on the preliminary charge brought by SØIK on 28 November 2018?

    It is in our interest that the case is fully investigated, and we will, of course, cooperate with SØIK and make ourselves and the knowledge we have available in relation to the ongoing investigation. In recent years, we have taken a number of initiatives, and the situation is now quite different from what it was at the time of the suspicious transactions in Estonia. We will continue to give high priority to this area.

    In the short term, the preliminary charge will not have much effect. It is a natural step in the police investigation, and we did not think that our own investigation, the results of which were announced in September, would be the only investigation made.

    It is still too early to say whether we will eventually be charged and what a possible penalty could be.

  • What are your comments regarding the detainment by Estonian authorities of several former employees of Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia? 

    The Estonian police have announced that on 18 and 19 December 2018, they have detained a total of 10 former employees of Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia. As we have previously stated, we have reported eight former employees in Estonia to the police in connection with our investigations into the case. We are not at liberty to comment on individuals and therefore cannot confirm whether these eight employees are among the ones detained by the police. It is up to the police to investigate the case.

    Our interest in the case is that it is thoroughly investigated, and we therefore continue to cooperate with all relevant authorities and to be at the disposal of the investigators.

  • Can you comment on the issue of a class action lawsuit being filed by private investors?

    We are aware that a lawsuit has been filed against Danske Bank by a US pension fund. It is public knowledge that several US law firms have indicated that similar lawsuits are on the way, so it does not come as a surprise to us. We are also aware that the Foreningen af Aktionærer i Danske Bank (association of shareholders in Danske Bank) has lodged a claim. 

    We will consider the lawsuits and the further process in consultation with our legal counsel. At the present time, we have no further comments.

  • What are your comments regarding the order from the Estonian FSA to cease your banking operations in Estonia?

    We acknowledge that the serious case of possible money laundering in Estonia has had a negative impact on Estonian society, and we acknowledge that the Estonian FSA, against this background, finds it best that Danske Bank discontinues its Estonian banking activities. We are sorry to be leaving Estonia against this background, but we understand the severity with which the Estonian FSA looks at this case, and we will close down our remaining activities as requested. We will continue our cooperation with the Estonian and other relevant authorities.

    We have also decided to close down our banking activities in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. Danske Bank Group IT Lithuania and Danske Bank Global Services Lithuania, which carry out a number of sevice functions, will continue its operations, and the employees there will not be affected by the decision.

    In recent years, we have pursued a strategy of focusing on our Nordic core markets and have also reduced our Baltic activities in connection with this. The decision to close down our activities in the Baltics and in Russia completely is fully in keeping with this strategy. In close cooperation with relevant authorities, we will make sure that the process takes customer and employee interests into account in the best possible way.

  • What are your comments regarding the order from the Estonian FSA to cease your banking operations in Estonia?

    We acknowledge that the serious case of possible money laundering in Estonia has had a negative impact on Estonian society, and we acknowledge that the Estonian FSA, against this background, finds it best that Danske Bank discontinues its Estonian banking activities. We would have liked a different process, but understand the severity with which the Estonian FSA looks at this case, and we will close down our remaining activities as requested. We will continue our cooperation with the Estonian and other relevant authorities.

    We have also decided to close down our banking activities in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. This does not apply, however, to Danske Bank Group IT, Lithuania, and Danske Bank Global Services Lithuania in Vilnius, which will continue their operations to provide service functions for the Group, and the employees there will not be affected by the decision.

    In recent years, we have pursued a strategy of focusing on our Nordic core markets and have also reduced our Baltic activities in connection with this. The decision to close down our activities in the Baltics and in Russia completely is fully in keeping with this strategy. In close cooperation with relevant authorities, we will make sure that the process takes customer and employee interests into account in the best possible way. 

  • What are your comments to the fact that former employees have been charged?

    As reported in the media, a number of former senior employees of Danske Bank have been charged by the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK), also known as the fraud squad, with possible violation of money-laundering legislation related to the closed down non-resident portfolio at Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia.

    Any charges are a matter solely between the authorities and the former employee of Danske Bank.

    Danske Bank cooperates with SØIK and all other authorities investigating the case, both in relation to the questioning of employees and the submission of documentation. Just like the authorities, we want to get to the bottom of the case. 

  • Can you comment on DR and Berlingske’s story that two senior executive vice presidents in 2014 shut down an investigation into the Estonian branch shortly before it was about to begin?

    This is not new information, and it is also communicated in the report from Bruun & Hjejle (pages 56-57). The report states that two members of the then Executive Board rejected the agreement with an external consultant to conduct an investigation into the claims made by the whistleblower concerning the Estonia branch and, according to the Group Compliance & AML report, instead asked Group Legal to pursue the case further. As we have always said, the report from Bruun & Hjejle clearly underlines the fact that the management in place at the time should at a much earlier point in time have reacted more forcefully and more thoroughly to the warnings received about the circumstances in Estonia. The investigation also established the fact that initiatives were implemented at the beginning of 2014 but that these were nowhere near sufficient to provide the full picture of what was going on. Similarly, the Bruun & Hjejle report levelled criticism of the late commissioning and launch of more thorough investigations.

Recording of the press conference about the findings of the investigations

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Investigation method

The investigations have been very thorough and extensive. The scope of the investigations covers approximately 15,000 customers and 9.5 million payments in the period 2007-2015. Some 12,000 documents and more than 8 million emails have been searched, and more than 70 interviews have been conducted with current and former employees and managers, including members of the Executive Board and members of the Board of Directors. Overall, approximately 70 people have worked full time on the investigations.
  • Led by the law firm Bruun & Hjejle

    The investigations have been anchored in the Board of Directors and led by the external law firm Bruun & Hjejle in order to ensure that the information collected, reviewed and assessed during the investigations provides a sufficient basis for finding the investigations objective and thorough. The investigators were given a full mandate to investigate anything and everyone they have found relevant.

    Generally, the investigations focus on two separate things:

    • A thorough examination of customers and transactions at the Estonian branch in the period from 2007 to 2015
    • An examination of who knew what and when, both in Estonia and at Group level, and to determine whether managers and employees lived up to their responsibilities to a sufficient degree
  • Investigation of customers and transactions

    The investigation of customers and transactions in Estonia from 2007 to 2015 was conducted by Danske Bank’s Compliance Incident Management Team, headed by Jens Madsen, former head of Denmark’s intelligence agency and the Fraud Squad (PET and SØIK).

    On an ongoing basis, the findings of the investigations have been passed on directly to Bruun & Hjejle, which has led the team and expanded the investigation when deemed relevant.

    The investigation covered a total of 15,000 customers and 9.5 million payments during the nine-year period.

    The investigation was conducted in cooperation Danish and international experts: the consultancy firms PwC and EY, the data analysis software company Palantir Technologies and the company CERTA Intelligence & Security.

  • Investigation of managers and employee responsibility

    Bruun & Hjejle has examined around 12,000 documents and more than 8 million emails to establish a timeline, which details, as thoroughly as possible, which employees and managers knew what and when.

    In addition, more than 70 interviews were conducted with current and former employees and managers, including members of the Executive Board and members of the Board of Directors.

    The investigation was conducted in cooperation with the consultancy firm Promontory.

Facts - what is money laundering

“To launder money” is a term used to describe the practices employed to make illegally gained money seem as if it has been earned by legal means.

Criminal activities such as drug trafficking, fraud or tax evasion can generate substantial profits. Money laundering is a way for the perpetrators to control these funds without attracting attention to the underlying activities or the persons involved.

It is estimated that up to USD 2,000 billion is laundered globally every year (according to UN Office on Drug and Crime).

Various schemes, which often involve companies, straw men or complex transactions made through the financial systems, are designed to hide the source of the money.

What do banks do to prevent money laundering?
Banks play an important role in combating money laundering. In order to live up to this responsibility, banks and other financial institutions have to put in place a financial crime set-up that will enable them to identify and report on suspicious behaviour.

It is up to the authorities to determine if money laundering is taking place and to decide on the appropriate action.

The authorities receive thousands of reports of suspicious activities from banks each year. In 2018 alone, Danske Bank, for example, sent 10,380 reports to the authorities in various countries.

Timeline

 

2007-2012

In February 2007, Danske Bank acquires Finnish-based Sampo Bank, including the Estonian subsidiary Sampo Pank.

The later-to-be Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia had a portfolio of foreign customers known as non-residents. These are customers not residing in or conducting business from Estonia.

 

2013

In April-May, Danske Bank submits incorrect information to the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (the Danish FSA) about control functions and AML procedures at the Estonian branch.

During the summer, international banks express concerns in relation to the portfolio because they have misgivings about AML.

This results in a review of the non-resident business, and certain customer relationships are terminated.

In December 2013, a whistleblower submits the first report on problems at the Estonian branch and in relation to the non-resident portfolio. Later, the whistleblower points to several others problems.

 

2014

At the beginning of 2014, Danske Bank conducts an internal investigation into conditions at the Estonian branch. A work group is appointed, and Group Internal Audit prepares several reports.

At the same time, an external consultancy firm reviews the AML procedures at the Estonian branch. Their report points out a number of material and critical inadequacies of the AML procedures.

It is during this process that the Group becomes aware that the AML setup in relation to the non-resident portfolio at the Estonian branch is clearly inadequate and insufficient.

In September 2014, the Estonian FSA sends its draft of a highly critical inspection report to Danske Bank. The final – and still highly critical – report is completed in December 2014.

 

2015-2016

In January 2015, the Board of Directors decides to terminate the non-resident portfolio completely and to revise the strategy for the Estonian branch. This is on a recommendation issued by the Executive Board in October 2014.

The Danish FSA conducts an inspection visit in February 2015. In March 2016, Danske Bank receives, among other things, a reprimand for not having identified material money laundering risks or taken risk-mitigating measures at the branch in Estonia.

In July, the Estonian FSA issues an order to the Estonian branch on the basis of the report from December 2014.

The cooperation with international banks in Estonia is terminated during the summer.

The termination of relationships with customers in the non-resident portfolio is accelerated in the second half of 2015 and is completed in January 2016.

 

March 2017

Several media run articles about Russian money laundering, and Danske Bank decides to conduct a root cause analysis of the suspicious transactions in the now closed-down non-resident portfolio. The analysis concludes that the lack of control is due to inadequate focus on the combating of money laundering in Estonia, a lack of focus on governance in relation to compliance and risk, and management follow-up being highly dependent on local country management. The analysis is conducted by the Promontory Financial Group consultancy firm.

 

Sep-Nov 2017

The investigations are expanded to include two separate things: A thorough investigation into customers and transactions in Estonia in the period from 2007 to 2015, including whether employees have, actively or otherwise, contributed to suspicious transactions; and an investigation into who knew what and when, both in Estonia and at Group level. Both investigations are overseen by the Board of Directors and led and supervised by external law firms in cooperation with international experts.

 

April-May 2018

Lars Mørch, Member of the Executive Board, resigns from his position. The investigation into matters relating to the Estonian non-resident portfolio has not been completed, but it is clear that Danske Bank should have launched more thorough investigations at an earlier time than we did, as this would have provided an understanding of the extent of the problems, in turn leading to swifter action.

The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority announces its decision in the case.

 

July 2018

Danske Bank announces that it does not want to benefit financially from suspicious transactions that took place in Estonia and intends to make the income from such transactions available for the benefit of society, for example to combat financial crime.

 

July-Aug 2018

Estonia’s general prosecutor begins investigating Danske Bank’s Estonian branch for possible breach of law.

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK) announces that it has launched an investigation of Danske Bank regarding possible violation of anti-money laundering legislation.

 

September 2018

The findings and conclusions of Danske Bank’s own, externally led, investigations are presented.

Thomas F. Borgen resigns as CEO of Danske Bank.

Danske Bank receives requests for information from US authorities in connection with their investigation of the case.

 

October 2018

Jesper Nielsen, Head of Banking Denmark, is appointed acting CEO of Danske Bank.

 

November 2018

Jesper Nielsen, acting CEO of Danske Bank, represents Danske Bank at public hearings about money laundering and financial crime in the Danish parliament on 19 November 2018 and the EU parliament on 21 November.

28 November: The Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK) brings a preliminary charge against Danske Bank for violation of the Danish Anti-Money Laundering Act in the case relating to the Estonian branch.

 

December 2018

Chairman of the Board of Directors Ole Andersen steps down at an extraordinary general meeting. Karsten Dybvad is appointed as new chairman of the Board of Directors.

 

February 2019

Danske Bank announces that its banking activities in Estonia will be closed down within a period of eight months following the order from the Estonian FSA to leave the country.

Concurrent with this, Danske Bank announces that its banking activities in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia will also be closed down.

 

May-June 2019

Danske Bank appoints Chris Vogelzang as its new CEO with effect from 1 June.

 

October 2019

Danske Bank closes down its banking activities in Estonia.

2007-2012
2013
2014
2015-2016
March 2017
Sep-Nov 2017
April-May 2018
July 2018
July-Aug 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
February 2019
May-June 2019
October 2019

Read more

Here are the releases and announcements previously issued in relation to the case.

1 October 2019: Danske Bank closes down its banking activities in Estonia

21 February 2019: Danske Bank in dialogue with US securities industry regulator

19 February 2019: Danske Bank closes down its banking activities in the Baltics and in Russia

7 February 2019: Danske Bank placed under formal investigation in France

11 January 2019: Update on investigation into possible violation of the French anti-money laundering legislation

7 December 2018: Extraordinary general meeting of Danske Bank 2018

28 November 2018: Danske Bank preliminarily charged by SØIK with violating the Danish Anti-Money Laundering Act in the case relating to the Estonian branch

19 November 2018: Jesper Nielsen participates in money laundering hearings   

14 November 2018: Extraordinary general meeting in Danske Bank A/S 

6 November 2018: Request to convene an extraordinary general meeting to change the Board of Directors   
1 November 2018: Continued growth in lending, lower trading income and donation regarding Estonia 

17 October 2018: Update regarding appointment of new chief executive   

4 October 2018: Danske Bank is in dialogue with the US authorities regarding the Estonia case 
 
4 October 2018: Danske Bank ordered to reassess its solvency need Share buy-back programme for 2018 is discontinued 

1 October 2018: Danske Bank appoints interim CEO   

19 September 2018: Findings of the investigations relating to Danske Bank's branch in Estonia

19 September 2018: Danske Bank's CEO resigns

19 September 2018: Danske Bank A/S donates DKK 1.5 billion and revises outlook downwards

3 May 2018: Decision from the Danish FSA regarding Danske Bank’s management and governance in relation to the matter concerning its branch in Estonia

5 April 2018: Lars Mørch resigns from Danske Bank

13 March 2018: Comments on the AML case by Ole Andersen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Danske Bank

25 January 2018: Danske Bank no longer placed under AML investigation in France

11 October 2017: Danske Bank placed under AML investigation in France

21 September 2017: Danske Bank expands investigation of Estonia branch

5 September 2017: Comments on media coverage of transactions at Danske Bank in Estonia

20 March 2017: Comments on media coverage of transactions at Danske Bank in connection with money laundering case