Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest lender, has been slapped with a “preliminary charge”. The announcement was made by Danish prosecutors on November 28.
The bank has been embroiled in a massive money-laundering scandal. Now the Copenhagen international financial crimes unit SOIK said its probe, launched in August, was now at an advanced stage that justified the move against the bank.
In a statement, unit chief Morten Niels Jakobsen said it was, however, “important to note that we are still at the beginning of our investigation”.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), investigators in Denmark, the United States, Belgium and Britain have been looking into Danske’s Estonian unit activities between 2007 and 2015, with the focus on 15,000 non-resident clients, including many Russians.
Danske has acknowledged that much of the approximately €200bn that went through the branch during that period may need to be treated as suspicious in origin.
The Danish prosecutors are charging Danske Bank with violating money-laundering laws between February 2007 and January 2016.
The ongoing probe will also determine whether criminal charges should be brought against individual members of Danske’s top management.
The bank’s CEO Jesper Nielsen said the lender would help prosecutors.
“We will, of course, cooperate with SOIK and make ourselves and the knowledge we have available in relation to the ongoing investigation,” he said in a statement.