Security & Fraud

Danish Prosecutors Charge Another Former Danske Banker, Bringing Total To Nine

Danske Bank

Prosecutors in Denmark have filed preliminary charges against another former executive of Danske Bank in relation to one of the biggest money-laundering scandals in the world, according to a report by Reuters.

Ex-executive Lars Morch, who was responsible for business banking, was charged and brings the total number of bank managers facing charges in the scandal to nine.

Morch handled a large swath of territory, including the Baltics, from 2012 until he resigned in April of last year. He confirmed the charges on his LinkedIn page, but he did not detail them.

Sources told the news outlet that some of the charges facing the executives included breaking Danish money-laundering laws. The charges involve an estimated 200 billion euros ($225 billion) of suspicious transactions between 2007 and 2015.

Also charged in the scandal was former Danske Chief Executive Thomas Borgen, who resigned in October when the true breadth of the scandal was revealed in internal documents. Henrik Ramlau-Hansen, former chief financial officer, was also charged. Ramlau-Hansen worked as finance director from 2001 to 2015, and chaired the Danish financial regulator from 2016 until he stepped down last May.

Danske’s former Group General Counsel Flemming Pristed resigned in October as well, and his lawyer told Reuters that he has been charged, too. One more person was charged, but that person’s lawyer, Arvid Anderson, said he had asked for the client’s name not to be released.

The preliminary charges against the bank for violating the anti-money laundering law were filed in November, and at the time, prosecutors said they would figure out whether individuals could be held responsible.

At the end of April, the European Banking Authority faced calls from the financial regulation head in Europe to improve its money-laundering safeguards after opting not to pursue an investigation into Danske Bank.

According to a report in The Financial Times, the European Banking Authority had been facing criticism ever since it voted not to pursue an investigation into Danske Bank without any findings. The draft report that the European Banking Authority voted to reject pointed to four breaches of EU law in how Danske Bank was supervised by Danish and Estonian authorities.

It made recommendations for follow-up action for both countries, reported the paper. The European Banking Authority decided against the report and voted to close the investigation.

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