Wed, 26 Jun 2019

The chief executive of Denmark's biggest bank is resigning amid allegations that its Estonian affiliate was at the center of a major money-laundering scandal.

'It is clear that Danske Bank has failed to live up to its responsibility in the case of possible money laundering in Estonia,' Chief Executive Thomas Borgen said in a September 19 statement, as he announced his resignation.

In a separate statement, the bank said it was unable to provide 'an accurate estimate of the amount of suspicious transactions made by nonresident customers in Estonia' between 2007 and 2015.

Later in the day, the Copenhagen-based bank was set to release an internal report into allegations that billions of euros in laundered money from Russia and other former Soviet states flowed through the bank's branch in Tallinn during that period.

The report was expected to highlight major money laundering problems, as well as the failure by European regulators to thwart the problem, particularly in the ex-Soviet Baltic states.

Recent media reports have said up to $150 billion worth of banking transactions may have flowed through Danske's Estonia branch from 2007 to 2015.

Danske Bank is already the target of criminal investigations in Denmark and Estonia.

U.S. law enforcement agencies were also looking into the case, according to reports.

Earlier this year, U.S. authorities accused the Latvian bank ABLV of covering up money laundering, leading to the bank's collapse, after it was denied U.S. dollar funding.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Bloomberg, dpa, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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