SEC Initiates Danske Investigation

Danske Bank

Amid the regulators looking into its Estonian money laundering scandal, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly initiated an investigation into Danske Bank. The financial firm said it was “co-operating” with the probe by the U.S. agency that has started along with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, The Financial Times reported.

Danske Bank interim chief executive Jesper Nielsen said in a statement, according to the outlet, “We have no information about when the investigations conducted by the DOJ and the SEC are expected to be completed, nor do we know what the outcome of these will be.”

At the same time, it was reported that Swedbank said that it had tapped EY to look into the role that the firm may have had in the money laundering scandal. That move came after a television report that the company was possibly used to move funds that were suspicious.

The news comes as it was reported that Danske Bank will no longer do business in Russia or the Baltic states that are the country’s neighbors. That decision came after officials in Estonia ordered the bank to close its branch in the country. As it stands, the bank is being investigated in countries such as the U.S., Estonia, Britain and Denmark for over $226 billion in payments that flowed through its branch in Estonia from Russia. Those funds in question were reportedly moved from 2007 to 2015.

The bank was ordered to close its branch in Estonia on Tuesday (Feb. 19). In addition, it was told that it would have to pay back client deposits in eight months. The bank had originally planned to not completely close, but to simply reduce its operations in the country. The bank, however, released a statement that it was shuttering its business in Latvia, Russia, and Lithuania as well after Estonia prompted the bank to close.