The Executive Board and the Board of Directors of Danske Bank are of the clear view that the bank should not benefit financially from suspicious transactions that have taken place in the non-resident portfolio in its Estonian branch. Consequently, the bank intends to make the gross income from such transactions available to the benefit of society, for instance through supporting efforts to combat financial crime.
“It is still too early to draw any conclusions regarding the extent of the issues, as the comprehensive investigations into the matter are still ongoing. However, it is clear that we did not live up to our own standards or the expectations of society at large when it came to preventing our Estonian branch from being used for potentially illegal activities at the time when these transactions took place. This is something we deeply regret and which we should not benefit from financially in any way. Therefore we will not keep the income from these suspicious transactions,” says Thomas F. Borgen, CEO of Danske Bank.
At present, we are unable to determine the extent of the suspicious transactions and consequently, the income they generated. The total gross income for the Estonian non-resident portfolio from 2007 and until it was closed down in 2015 is estimated to be around DKK 1.5 billion. This compares to a reported total income for Danske Bank of approximately DKK 410 billion for the same period.
In September 2017, Danske Bank launched thorough and comprehensive investigations into the non-resident portfolio of the Estonian branch. The investigations are anchored in the Board of Directors and directed by the law firm Bruun & Hjejle.
The investigations are comprehensive, covering 9 years and a large quantity of data, including more than 9 million emails, 7.000 documents and millions of transactions.
“We take this issue very seriously and are determined to get to the bottom of the matter. We fully understand the extensive interest from all our stakeholders. I can assure everybody that we are putting every effort into finalising the investigations as soon as possible, while at the same time ensuring that they are as thorough and complete as possible. We remain committed to providing as much transparency as possible and look forward to sharing our conclusions as well as any additional decisions or initiatives they might lead to,” says Ole Andersen, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The investigations are progressing according to plan, and the conclusions will be reported by September 2018 together with any additional initiatives they might lead to. The amount and the way in which it will be made available will be decided once we have concluded on the investigations.