October 24, 2018 / 5:39 AM / 22 days ago

Danske Bank whistleblower to testify before European parliament

FILE PHOTO: General view of the Danske Bank building in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The whistleblower who helped to reveal a major money laundering scandal at Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO), will testify before the European Parliament and the Danish Parliament at two events in November.

The scandal involves 200 billion euros ($230 billion) in payments through Danske’s Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, many of which the bank said in a report last month it thinks are suspicious.

The scandal has led the bank’s former chief executive Thomas Borgen to resign and almost halved Danske Bank share price since February.

Howard Wilkinson, a British trader in Danske Bank’s Estonia branch until 2014, will testify at public hearings in Copenhagen on Nov. 19, and in Brussels on Nov. 21.

Wilkinson has agreed to testify before the two parliaments as “all voters in Europe have a right to know what their governments are doing to stop corruption and protect whistleblowers,” his U.S. attorney Stephen M. Kohn said in an email to Reuters.

Danske Bank, the financial regulator and the state prosecutor for financial crime are also invited to the hearing in Copenhagen, which is expected to be a major media event, one of the organizers, left-wing lawmaker Rune Lund, told Reuters.

It is crucial that Wilkinson will be free of any non-disclosure agreements following his tenure at Danske Bank so that he can speak freely, the spokesman for the European Parliament committee that arranges the Brussels hearing, Jeppe Kofod, told Reuters.

Danske Bank declined to comment on the hearings on Wednesday.

Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Mark Potter

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