The Danish prosecutor’s office announced on Monday the launch of a criminal investigation against Danske Bank following accusations that the country’s oldest bank has been guilty of money laundering through its Estonian subsidiary.
The investigation concerns transactions worth billions of crowns, the Danish Attorney General for serious economic and international crimes said in a statement .
Danske Bank shares, have lost 25 percent since the beginning of the year – against -11 percent for the index of European banking stocks over the same period – since the allegations emerged that its Estonian subsidiary had laundered some 53 billion crowns (7.1 billion euros) between 2007 and 2015.
Danske Bank has in the past admitted flaws in its money laundering control procedures and launched its own investigations, the results of which should be known in September.
The prosecution, which says it has received a number of complaints in this case, said it was too soon to know whether the investigation would lead to criminal prosecution.
“We are obviously at the disposal (of the Attorney General for grave economic and international crimes) as part of his investigation,” Fleming Pristed, the legal director of Danske Bank, said in a statement in reaction to the announcement of the opening of the investigation.
Danske Bank said last month it should not benefit financially from “suspicious transactions” in Estonia and it would forgo profits generated from any such transactions.