July 30, 2018 / 1:28 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Danske Bank money laundering case to be discussed in Estonia's parliament

(Adds details, quote from committee chairman)

By Teis Jensen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

COPENHAGEN, July 30 (Reuters) - Estonia’s parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday to discuss a money laundering case involving Danske Bank, a week after authorities received a criminal complaint against the bank from Kremlin critic Bill Browder.

Shares in Denmark’s biggest lender have fallen 22 percent this year as allegations its Estonia branch was involved in money laundering between 2007 and 2015 have intensified.

The bank has launched its own investigation into the allegations and will present its findings in September.

The Estonian parliament’s legal affairs committee said it has summoned, among others, the country’s justice minister, Urmas Reinsalu, Prosecutor General Lavly Perling and the chairman of the Financial Supervision Authority, Kilvar Kessler, for the meeting.

“The Legal Committee wants to get more clarity on how it could have been possible to launder Russian criminal money in that way in an Estonian operating branch,” the committee chairman and Centre Party member Jaanus Karilaid said in an e-mail to Reuters.

Karilaid said the committee aimed to find out who was responsible for what he called a “scam” and how such cases could be avoided in the future. He did not elaborate on what measures the parliamentary committee could take.

The meeting was called after Browder, once the biggest foreign money manager in Russia, last week filed a new criminal complaint in Estonia against Danske Bank, one week after he had filed a complaint in Denmark.

Danske Bank said it had no comment on the meeting.

“But we do have a good and constructive dialogue with the authorities about the case, and if there are any questions that the authorities or politicians want further clarification on, we are available,” bank spokesman Kenni Leth said.

The potential fine Danske Bank could face depends on whether U.S. regulators take action. While the bank doesn’t have a banking license in the United States, it has a bond programme in dollars, which could prompt U.S. regulators to open a case.

For now, analysts on average put estimates for potential fines at roughly 4 billion Danish crowns ($628 million). ($1 = 6.3701 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Teis Jensen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Louise Heavens and Adrian Croft)

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below