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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Danske Bank may have to look into Estonia dirty money case again

Danske Bank may have to look into Estonia dirty money case again

Danske Bank said on Wednesday it may be required by authorities to conduct a further investigation into its former Estonian branch, possibly prolonging a money-laundering saga that has dogged Denmark’s biggest lender for years.
Danske is under investigation in several countries, including the United States, over some 200 billion euros ($241 billion) of suspicious transactions that passed through the bank’s tiny Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

Late last year, the bank completed a year-long internal investigation into its non-resident portfolio in the now shuttered Estonia branch and handed it over to authorities.

But the lender said on Wednesday it could be required to “undertake further internal investigation in 2021”.

“That definitely disappoints me,” Jyske Bank analyst Anders Haulund Vollesen told Reuters.

“I had hoped that we would see a clarification on this, and this prolongs the overhang in the stock for a while yet, so that’s a shame,” Vollesen said.

Danske reported first-quarter profit above expectations on higher fee and trading income, but kept its full-year forecast.

“Raising the guidance seems totally obvious, I had kind of hoped they would start out with a slightly bigger bang,” Vollesen said, who said the results were good despite lagging net interest income.

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