Danske Bank has begun preparing for the repercussions it might face following one of the world’s largest money laundering scandals taking place at its Estonia branch.
The bank said in a company announcement Thursday it has entered “initial discussions” with U.S. and Danish authorities on resolution of the Estonia matter. Between February 2007 until the end of January 2016, Danske Bank failed to spot approximately 200 billion euros (U.S. $210 billion) of dirty money that flowed through the subsidiary undetected. The funds came from countries including Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Russia.
“Danske Bank is not yet able to reliably estimate the timing, form of resolution or amount of a potential settlement or fines, which is likely to be material, and will not comment on discussions with authorities,” the bank stated.
While discussions with regulators remain ongoing, Danske Bank said it would not pay out shareholder dividends in connection with its interim report for the first quarter of 2022. In the report, released Friday, Danske Bank noted a net profit of 2.85 billion Danish kroner (U.S. $403 million) during the quarter.
The bank further acknowledged in the report it continues to cooperate with criminal and regulatory investigations related to its Estonia branch in Denmark and France as well.
Danske Bank in its interim first-quarter report last year said it completed its forensic audit into the Estonia matter in the fourth quarter of 2020, and the results were reported to relevant authorities. The audit has not been made public.
Following revelation of the scandal, the bank shut down its Estonia branch in 2019.