Danske Bank hires former head of intelligence agency to fight money laundering

COPENHAGEN, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Danske Bank has hired the former head of Denmark’s intelligence agency and fraud squad to help it in its effort to counter money laundering.

The announcement came on Tuesday after media reports that the bank’s Estonian branch had been exploited for money laundering and other illegal activities between 2012 and 2014.

The bank said it was cooperating with authorities over the incidents. It had previously established that it in the period leading up to 2014 had had inadequate measures in place in Estonia to prevent money laundering, the bank said in an email to Reuters.

Jens Madsen, currently working in the Danish Foreign Ministry fighting terrorism financing, will be responsible for the bank’s Compliance Incident Management handling the investigation of incidents where regulations and internal guidelines have possibly not been followed. He was formerly the head of the country’s intelligence agency and its fraud squad.

“The hiring should be seen as part of the overall armament in the compliance area in Danske Bank, and it is clear that the first task will be to contribute to investigating the situation in Estonia before 2014,” head of Danske Bank’s Group Compliance Anders Meinert said in an e-mail to Reuters. (Reporting by Teis Jensen, editing by Louise)