Daily Management Review

Danske Bank is leaving Estonia


Danske Bank is winding up operation of its Estonian branch, whose employees are suspected of large-scale money laundering.

Jimmy Baikovicius
Jimmy Baikovicius
“In accordance with the approval of the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority, Danske Bank has virtually ceased banking in Estonia. Now all attention is paid to ensure the best possible protection for customers,” said Frederik Bjørn, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Danske Bank and Chairman of the Liquidation Commission.

The termination order was issued by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority in February this year. On October 1, the Danish bank confirmed its withdrawal from the Estonian banking services market, the credit institution said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the bank’s press service, now it remains only to resolve technical issues related to liquidation. In the coming days all the logos of Danske Bank will be removed from its central office located in the center of Tallinn.

The loan portfolio of the bank's corporate clients has been transferred to the Lithuanian branch of Danske. Lithuanian bank LHV will handle servicing of private loans.

The Danish bank branch operating in Estonia is suspected of processing €201 billion of problematic origin through the branch in 2007-2015. The criminal case was opened in July 2018 after the owner of Hermitage Capital, Bill Browder, filed a criminal complaint against 26 employees of the Estonian branch of Danske Bank. According to Browder, local banking staff led by Aivar Rehe created conditions for large-scale money laundering and hid it.

source: reuters.com