Danske Accused of Lying to French Investigators over Alleged Money Laundering

After being accused of “overtly mendacity” to authorities in France, Danske Bank A/S says it now faces the prospect of recent fees being introduced against it in reference to a $230 billion cash laundering case.

Denmark’s largest financial institution mentioned on Friday [Jan. 11] that it’s been summoned for questioning by French authorities. The lead investigative choose “envisages inserting Danske Bank under formal investigation,” the lender mentioned.

The announcement follows a presentation by Bill Browder, the co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management and a driving power behind criminal cash laundering complaints against banks, alleging that top-level workers at Danske lied to authorities. The improvement prompted Danske to quickly delay a bond sale as buyers digested the data. Browder mentioned on Thursday [Jan. 10] he was unaware of Danske’s bond sale plans and that he didn’t time his presentation to coincide with them.

Danske is under investigation in a number of jurisdictions, including within the U.S. But with regards to France, the financial institution mentioned a year in the past that it was now not dealing with fees in an anti-money laundering investigation by authorities there, and that its standing had been modified to that of assisted witness. In a presentation delivered on the Danish parliament on Thursday, Browder mentioned French authorities determined to overview that call, primarily based on his proof.

Browder says the brand new data he introduced in Copenhagen issues “official statements from the highest legal representatives of the financial institution” which he says “displays very poorly on Danske Bank.” Speaking in an interview, he additionally mentioned “it raises questions concerning the credibility of statements they’re making to different authorities.”

In a written touch upon Thursday, Danske spokesman Kenni Leth mentioned the financial institution does “not imagine that we’ve offered incorrect data to the French authorities. On the opposite, it’s clearly in our curiosity to acquire as correct an image of what occurred in Estonia as attainable.”

In material accompanying his presentation, Browder mentioned Danske’s former basic counsel, Flemming Pristed, misled a French choose as just lately as January 2018. In October of that year, Danske introduced that Pristed was leaving the financial institution, with out having lined up one other job.

“The indisputable fact that they had been relegated from suspect to witness by no means made any sense to me,” Browder mentioned. “And now that I’ve been in a position to see the transcripts of the interrogation, I perceive why the French did that. But the solutions that Danske Bank gave had been false.”

Danish lawmaker Michael Aastrup hosted Browder’s press convention, which adopted a parliamentary briefing on the Magnitsky Act. The Act is known as after Sergei Magnitsky, a former colleague of Browder who died in a Russian jail in 2009 after investigating widespread corruption. Browder has lobbied for Europe-wide adoption of the Act, which targets human rights offenders.

Danske now faces fines potentially within the billions of {dollars}. Its share price plunged virtually 50 p.c final year, whereas Thursday’s string of dangerous information despatched the inventory down about three p.c.


Copyright 2019 Bloomberg.


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