August 14, 2018 / 7:15 AM / 8 months ago

Danske Bank loses customers due to Estonia money laundering case: polling firm

FILE PHOTO: Danske Bank sign is seen at the bank's Estonian branch in Tallinn, Estonia August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark’s largest lender Danske Bank has lost 28,000 private customers this year as public confidence dropped due to allegations its Estonia branch was involved in money laundering between 2007 and 2015, a poll showed on Tuesday.

A Danske Bank spokesman said the bank did not recognise the negative customer development figures as it had registered an increase of around 900 basic accounts in the first half of the year.

Denmark’s state prosecutor said last week it had started a criminal investigation into the bank over the money laundering allegations following a similar step by Estonian authorities.

1.125 million Danes used Danske as their main bank at the end of June, down from 1.153 million at the turn of the year, according to the poll from Voxmeter, which was based on 154,000 responses and has a statistical uncertainty of plus/minus 10,000 people.

“Many respondents say that it is the Estonian money laundering case that they are dissatisfied with,” chief executive of Voxmeter Christian Stjer told Reuters.

The bank has admitted to flaws in its anti-money laundering controls in Estonia in the past and has launched its own inquiry, the results of which are expected in September.

Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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