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Comments on media coverage of transactions at Danske Bank in connection with money laundering case

Several media today report on a case of possible international money laundering, and Danske Bank is mentioned as one of the banks that may have been used. For Danske Bank, the transactions involved are almost exclusively transactions carried out at our Estonian branch in the 2011-2014 period.

"The transactions involved are transactions that we already know about and have discussed with both the Danish and the Estonian authorities," says Flemming Pristed, Group General Counsel. At the time, our systems and procedures in Estonia were insufficient to ensure that we could not be used for money laundering. We have taken the measures necessary to remedy this. We have also closed the accounts of all customers who could not document a legitimate reason for maintaining an account in Estonia. As a result, business relations with all but one customer involved in the transactions in question have been terminated. We have introduced new systems and control procedures and put a new management in place in Estonia.

We do not want in any way to be used for money laundering or other criminal activity. We take our responsibility for combating money laundering and other financial crime very seriously and have stepped up our efforts in this area considerably in recent years. We cannot guarantee that attempts to launder money through Danske Bank will be unsuccessful, but it has never been harder than it is now, and we are doing everything we can to prevent it from happening."

The situation in Estonia caused the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority to issue a reprimand to Danske Bank, as disclosed in March 2016.

The measures taken at Danske Bank in recent years include improving the IT systems to enhance monitoring, introducing tighter control, adding more resources to anti-money laundering activities and training staff.

Facts at Group level about Danske Bank's anti-money laundering activities:

  • More than 550 employees are dedicated to the combating of financial crime.
  • Every month, we screen three million customer transactions.
  • Every week, we screen 16 million customer numbers against international sanction lists.  
  • Every year, 120,000 warnings are registered concerning unusual customer behaviour in relation to money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
  • In the past year, Danske Bank submitted 5,404 reports to the authorities.

 Yours faithfully
Danske Bank

Contact: Kenni Leth, Group Press Officer, tel. +45 45 14 14 00