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Danske Bank placed under formal investigation in France

Company Announcement No. 2/2019

Today, Danske Bank A/S was placed under formal investigation (“mise en examen”) by an investigating judge at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris in connection with an investigation into suspicion of money laundering related to certain transactions in the terminated portfolio of non-resident customers of Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia in the period from 2007 to 2014. The investigation covers transactions amounting to around EUR 21.6 million. Danske Bank has been ordered to post bail in the amount of EUR 10.8 million.

The terminated portfolio of non-resident customers is described in more detail in the Report on the Non-Resident portfolio at Danske Bank´s Estonian branch dated 19 September 2018 prepared by the Danish law firm Bruun & Hjejle (the Report). Whilst the Report showed shortcomings and failures, including late and inadequate handling of the issues arising from the Estonia matter, the investigation into the terminated portfolio of non-resident customers has made no findings which enable it to conclude whether money laundering, tax evasion or other criminal activity has actually taken place. Danske Bank was first placed under formal investigation in France on 11 October 2017. On 25 January 2018, Danske Bank’s status in the investigation was changed to that of an assisted witness (“témoin assisté”). Since then, Danske Bank has published the Report, which has now been included in the investigation in France.

The wording of the charge is set out below.

Danske Bank will continue to cooperate with the French authorities.

Also available on
Company announcement no. 53 of 11 October 2017:
Danske Bank placed under AML investigation in France.
Company announcement no. 6 of 25 January 2018:
Danske Bank no longer placed under AML investigation in France.
Report on the Non-Resident Portfolio at Danske Bank’s Estonian branch dated 19 September 2018.

The wording of the charge is as follows:

Organised money-laundering of tax evasion proceeds:
For having assisted, in France and abroad (in particular in Estonia and in Luxembourg), from 2007 (from 1st February onwards) until 2014, in multiple transactions consisting in investing, concealing, or converting the direct or indirect proceeds of offences, by opening fictitious pass-through accounts which were designed to receive money from organised tax evasion, and by allowing these accounts to be debited with multiple transactions carried out in the context of set-off mechanisms, without any economic justification,
in this case, the accounts [name omitted] and [name omitted], to the benefit of a French company managed by [name omitted] ([name omitted] for EUR 16,339,849) and offshore companies holding accounts in Luxembourg of which [name omitted] was the beneficial owner ([name omitted] for EUR 1,175,520 and USD 1,360,508), [name omitted] for EUR 2,951,567 (exhibits D 539, D 583) as well as to the benefit of other companies and businesses established in France (for EUR 574,185), the facts having been committed in an organised group, characterised by the use of multiple agents, these transactions had no other aim but to conceal the final destination of the defrauded funds and to enable their beneficiaries to use them abroad after the funds had been laundered in opaque circuits, facts provided for and punished by Articles 324-1, 324-2, 324-3, 324-4, 324-7, 324-8 and 324-9 of the Criminal Code.

Danske Bank A/S

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