Estonia: Danske Bank branch must close over alleged fraud

Posted at 7:10 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 07:10:03-05

HELSINKI (AP) — Estonia's financial watchdog says the local branch of Danske Bank must close after the financial group admitted that massive sums of money from Russia and former Soviet states had been laundered through the subsidiary.

The Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority said Tuesday that Danske Bank, Denmark's largest financial institution, must cease its activities in Estonia within eight months.

Kilvar Kessler, chairman of Estonia's financial watchdog Finantsinspektsioon, said "the serious violations" had caused damage "to the credibility of the Estonian financial environment."

Last year, 10 former employees at Danske Bank's Estonia branch were detained in connection with the scandal. The Copenhagen-based bank admitted in September that some 200 billion euros ($226 billion) had flown through accounts at its Estonian branch from 2007 to 2015.