Danske Bank shares fall as money laundering scandal deepens

Danske Bank shares are lower Wednesday amid a new development in the investigation of the company's Estonian money laundering scandal.

Danske Bank shares fall as money laundering scandal deepens

Danske Bank shares are in the red Wednesday after it has emerged the Estonian money laundering scandal has deepened. It is now being reported the amount of money flowing through its Estonian operations could have been double initial estimates.

Danish officials have said that an internal investigation may no longer be enough.

By 1500 BST, Danske Bank share were 2.04% lower at DKK197.30. The stock has been moving broadly lower over the past few weeks.

Danske Bank’s Estonian operations

Danske Bank launched an internal investigation in September 2017 into allegations the bank was laundering money through its Estonian operations.

And, it has been discovered that the amount of money being illegally processed could be double the original estimate. Reports now suggest that some $8.3 billion was laundered through its Estonian systems.

Given the new, larger amount that could have moved illegally through the bank, the Danish Minister has said that a bigger investigation could now be warranted.

“The grave-serious case only becomes even more serious if the latest information is right. It casts a shadow of distrust over our entire banking system,” Denmark’s Business Minister Rasmus Jarlov tweeted Tuesday.

Danske Bank taking issue “very seriously”

Danske Bank’s internal investigation has been on going for some months now. A statement on the money laundering investigation underscores the seriousness of the issue.

“We take the issue very seriously,” said Danske Bank’s chairman of the Board of Directors, Ole Anderson. “We fully understand the extensive interest in the matter, and we are strongly committed to getting to the bottom of it and sharing our conclusions.”

“I believe that it is in everybody’s interest that the investigations are as thorough and exhaustive as possible, since this is also what the severity of the case requires….Should the investigations uncover misconduct on the part of employees or managers, we will of course ensure that the necessary steps are taken,” Anderson added.

Findings of the internal investigation into the reported money laundering between 2007-15 are expected to be ready in September 2018.

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