COPENHAGEN Denmark's financial regulator has reported Danske Bank, the country's largest bank, to the police for violating Danish anti-money laundering rules.
Danske Bank was ordered in 2012 to ensure that the banks with which it co-operated, so-called correspondent banks, had sufficient control procedures to reduce the risk of money laundering. Last year the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) conducted an inquiry to see if it had followed this order.
"Based on the study's conclusions, the FSA has reported the bank to the police for violation of the money laundering act's clauses for correspondent banks, including failure to follow FSA's order on the area from 2012," the FSA said.
Danske Bank's Group General Counsel Flemming Pristed told Reuters that the bank had been working constructively with the FSA on the matter and intended to do so with the police.
"There is no doubt that we have not done well enough on this area regarding the correspondent banks," he added.
Pristed said Danske Bank had halved the number of correspondent banks to lower the risk of money laundering, and that it had around 400 employees working on reducing the risk.
"We must get this cleaned up, and then move on, because we are obviously not proud of this case," Pristed said.
The FSA also gave the bank a reprimand for not having identified and reduced "significant money laundering risks" in its branch in Estonia.
The bank was ordered to carry out "adequate assessments" of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing from its business units and from those business customers the bank itself had rated as being relatively high risk.
The FSA declined any further comment.
(Editing by Susan Thomas and Alexander Smith)