Denmark’s state prosecutor has dropped its investigation against Ernst & Young into whether the accounting firm violated anti-money laundering laws in connection with its audit of Danske Bank, the Danish Business Authority (DBA) announced Friday.
From 2007 to 2015, around €200 billion (U.S. $223 billion) flowed through the non-resident portfolio of Danske Bank’s Estonia branch, covering around 15,000 customers. An investigation commissioned by Danske Bank in 2017 concluded that most of the payments were “found to be suspicious.”
In April 2019, the Danish Business Authority requested that the State Attorney for the Special Economic and International Crime (SØIK) investigate EY concerning allegations the accounting firm was aware of potential money-laundering issues at Danske Bank in 2014 but did not carry out a further investigation nor notify authorities.
In the latest development, the DBA last week announced SØIK dropped its investigation into EY, stating it was informed on April 3 by SØIK that the investigation ended due to finding “no reasonable suspicion that any offense has been committed.” According to the DBA, SØIK did not find evidence indicating EY was “aware of specific transactions or patterns of transactions.” The DBA said it has taken note of SØIK’s decision.
In its 2019 annual report, Danske Bank said it “remains in dialogue” with various international authorities—including in the United States, Britain, Estonia, and France—regarding the money-laundering investigation.