November 16, 2018 / 12:19 PM / a month ago

U.S. investigators approach Deutsche Bank, BofA, JPM in Danske probe: Bloomberg

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

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - U.S. criminal investigators have requested information from Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan about transactions they handled for Danske Bank’s Estonia branch, which is at the center of a money laundering scandal, Bloomberg reported on Friday citing sources.

Danske Bank said last month it faced a U.S. criminal investigation into as much as 200 billion euro ($230 billion) of suspicious transactions at its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015. The scandal has rocked investor faith in Denmark’s biggest lender and forced its chief executive and chairman to quit.

The Bloomberg report said that there were no signs that Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Bank of America (BAC.N) and JPMorgan (JPM.N), which were correspondent banks for Danske’s Estonian branch, were themselves targets for the investigation.

It said the examination of whether the three banks gave appropriate scrutiny to the Estonia transactions was part of the broader investigation of Danske led by the U.S. Justice Department and prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Treasury Department are also investigating the Danske Bank transactions through the global banks, Bloomberg said.

Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan declined to comment when asked about the Bloomberg report by Reuters.

JPMorgan stopped clearing dollar transactions out of Danske’s Estonian branch in 2013 because of money laundering concerns, Bloomberg said. Deutsche and Bank of America stopped in 2015, it said.

Danske Bank, which declined to comment on the report, also faces criminal investigations in Denmark and Estonia.

Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/Keith Weir

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