Danske Bank fined €470m over international money laundering scandal

Danske Bank fined €470m over international money laundering scandal

Denmark's largest bank Danske Bank has been fined €470 million over an international money laundering scandal.

The Danish financial watchdog imposed a fine of 3.5 billion kroner on Wednesday, just hours after the bank settled a case in the US.

Prosecutor Jens-Christian Bülow said it was "the largest fine ever imposed" in a Danish money laundering case.

On Tuesday, Danske Bank also agreed to pay $2bn (€1.9bn) to resolve fraud investigations against US banks.

The company acknowledged that around €200bn was laundered through its Estonian subsidiary between 2007 and 2015.

The scandal broke in 2018 after an internal audit found a "series of major deficiencies" in the Danish bank's systems.

"Danske Bank lied to US regulators about its flawed anti-money laundering systems, inadequate transaction monitoring capabilities, and high-risk offshore clientele in order to gain illegal access to the US financial system," the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

In addition to the fine, Denmark has confiscated 1.25bn kroner (€168m) in profits from transactions by Danske's subsidiaries.

"It is extremely serious that a bank does not have the necessary corporate governance and internal controls in the area of money laundering and that it does not react correctly and quickly to warnings about possible money laundering," prosecutor Bülow said.

Danske Bank says it has since improved its compliance with money laundering legislation and has closed its subsidiaries in Baltic countries and in Russia.