Money Laundering: One of the biggest money-laundering scandals in recent memory has been resolved, with Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, defrauding US banks and paying $2 billion in fines.
The bank entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in the US and agreed to pay nearly $1.2 billion to the US in criminal forfeiture. In addition, it will pay $672 million to Danish authorities and $178 million in civil penalties to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the primary watchdog on Wall Street.
The Estonian subsidiary, which has now closed, as well as transactions in other Baltic countries and the bank’s Russian affiliate were all subject to confiscation by the Danish government in addition to a fine of 1.25 billion kroner (€168 million).
The fine, which comes a day after Danske Bank settled a case in the US for $2 billion, “is the largest ever imposed in Denmark in the area of money laundering,” prosecutor Jens-Christian Bülow was quoted in the statement as saying.
“It is extremely serious that a bank does not have the necessary corporate governance and internal controls in the area of money laundering and that it does not react correctly and quickly to warnings about possible money laundering,” he stressed.
The bank’s CEO Thomas Borgen also resigned in 2018 after “a series of serious weaknesses” were found in the bank’s governance and control system.