Estonian Scandal Forces Danske Out of the Baltics and Russia

Danske Bank has been forced to close all operations in the Baltics and Russia in response to the largest money-laundering scandal, which has prompted EU authorities to launch an investigation of Danish and Estonian regulators. The bank was given eight months to return customer deposits and transfer its loan contracts to another provider in Estonia, after a report released last autumn revealed the extent of the failures at the bank, the Financial Times reported. More than €200bn of suspicious money from Russia and other ex-Soviet states flowed through its tiny Estonian branch over a nine-year period. Kilvar Kessler, chair of the Estonian Financial Services Authority, said: “Serious and large-scale violations of the local rules have been committed in Estonia through the branch of a foreign bank, and this has dealt a serious blow to the transparency, credibility and reputation of the Estonian financial market.” Danske’s chairman and chief executive were both ousted over the scandal last year. Read more