Danske Bank receives information request from DoJ over €200bn scandal

The crisis at Danske Bank worsened yesterday as it confirmed that it has received “requests for information” from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in relation to the €200bn (£176bn) money laundering scandal involving suspicious Russian money.

The suspected money laundering took place in the banks Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, and has already prompted the resignation of its former chief executive Thomas Borgen, who was previously the head of international operations.

The US DoJ has previously extracted humungous fines from European banks over money laundering failings, such as the $900m (£693m) that Dutch lender ING had to pay in September after admitting that criminals had used its accounts to launder money. In 2012, HSBC was forced to pay a fine of $1.92bn for laundering Mexican drug money.

Some 42 Danske Bank employees and agents have been deemed to have been involved in some suspicious activity, while eight former employees have been reported to Estonian police.

Danske revealed that Danish regulators had forced them to reassess the amount of capital it must hold, because of the “increase in compliance and reputational risks”.

The Danish bank announced that it will stop a share buy-back programme due to end by the end of February in order to raise its capital ratio.

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