Security & Fraud

Denmark Demands Danske Bankers ‘Be Held Accountable’

Danske Bank Charged for Money Laundering Scandal

Denmark wants the former Danske Bank employees who were recently arrested to “be held accountable” for their actions.

Earlier this week, eight people in Estonia were arrested in connection to Danske Bank’s money laundering scandal. In total, 10 former Danske employees have been detained in relation to the case, with authorities in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the United States all looking into $150 million that made its way through the accounts of non-Estonian holders.

“It’s very important to come down hard on this case,” said Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Rasmus Jarlov, according to Bloomberg. “It’s absolutely essential that we ensure that committing economic crimes comes at a cost.”

He added that the scandal “offends one’s sense of justice and people’s confidence in the financial industry.”

Estonian prosecutors have revealed that some of the criminals involved in the scandal include tax evaders and embezzlers from Georgia and Azerbaijan, and more suspects are expected to be detained this week.

“It’s paramount, as far as a sense of justice is concerned, that this case be investigated to the very end and that there are consequences,” Jarlov said. “People who commit financial crimes have to be held accountable.”

In addition to the recent arrests, the scandal led to Danske’s CEO Thomas Borgen stepping down. Analysts have predicted that the bank’s fines could range from $600 million to billions of dollars if the U.S. decides to institute its own set of fines.

The scandal also has the potential to disrupt Denmark’s financial stability. “It’s a question of trust, if there is a spillover effect to the rest of the sector. We haven’t seen that yet, but that is the concern,” said Karsten Biltoft, assistant governor and head of financial stability.

As a result, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said it is likely that Denmark will join the European Banking Union, which was created to ensure banks that are well supervised. A decision is expected sometime next year.


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