Danske Bank has appointed Philippe Vollot, its chief compliance officer, to be its group chief administrative officer in charge of the bank’s compliance, financial crime prevention, and financial crime risk divisions.
Vollot will remain on the bank’s executive leadership team. In his new position, he will have all responsibilities for the overall implementation of Danske Bank’s financial crime control environment, the bank said, giving him “end-to-end ownership of our fight against financial crime across both the first and second lines of defense.”
In Vollot’s place, Deputy Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Financial Crime Compliance Satnam Lehal was promoted to chief compliance officer. Lehal will report directly to Vollot and will have an independent reporting line to the board of directors, the bank announced in a Nov. 25 press release.
“Philippe has been instrumental in bringing to maturity our Regulatory Compliance, Financial Crime Compliance, and Regulatory Affairs divisions,” Danske Bank CEO Carsten Egeriis said in the release. “We now want to further increase both the quality of and the speed in which we combat financial crime, and in light of his significant international experience, Philippe is extremely qualified to ensure this progress across the bank while at the same time ensuring better and smoother customer journeys in relation to our financial crime prevention efforts.”
Vollot was appointed Danske Bank’s chief compliance officer in 2018 to address the fallout from one of the world’s largest money laundering scandals, in which more than €200 billion in illicit funds were funneled through the bank’s Estonia branch from 2007-16.
An investigation into the scandal completed in 2018, several months before Vollot began as CCO, found a series of major deficiencies in the bank’s governance and control systems made it possible for criminals to use its Estonian branch for suspicious transactions starting in 2007 (when it acquired Sampo Bank) and that it had around 15,000 customers that were either “non-resident” or had similar characteristics that should have created money laundering red flags.
In 2021, the bank completed a forensic audit of the money laundering scandal, which was provided to authorities but not made public.
“We have been undertaking a large and complex enhancement to our financial crimes controls, and we have made significant progress in recent years,” stated Vollot in the release. “The execution of the continued improvements of our financial crime defenses is increasingly moving into our first line, which is why we are now taking this step. My focus will be to ensure more efficient processes that both strengthens the effectiveness of our fight against financial crime as well as supports even better customer experiences.”
Vollot came to Danske Bank after 15 years at Deutsche Bank, where he most recently served as global head of anti-financial crime and group anti-money laundering officer. Before that, he served as European head of compliance at Barclays Capital in Paris, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Lehal has been with Danske Bank since 2019, when he was hired to be head of its financial crime compliance division. He previously worked for Morgan Stanley for a decade as a managing director and head of international financial crime, according to his LinkedIn profile.