Danske bank to leave Russia & Baltic on money-laundering counterblast

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Danske bank to leave Russia & Baltic on money-laundering counterblast

The scandal-sickened Danske Bank would be leaving Russia and its neighboring Baltic countries, after Estonia had ordered the bank to close its Estonian branches, the Danish borrower said in a statement on Tuesday, the 19th of February.

Danske Bank had been under investigation in Denmark, Estonia, UK and US over approximately 200 billion euros of money laundered in payments from ex-Soviet states, Russia and elsewhere flowed through its Estonian Branch, one of the biggest money laundering scandal in the history.

On Tuesday (February 19th), unexpectedly an Estonian financial regulator overturned the bank’s attempt to scale up and keep lending business running in the country, and ordered the Danske to close its local branches and repay the deposited amounts within an eight-month of time-frame.

Although, last year Danske told that they were expecting to serve their Nordic subsidiaries in the Baltic despite money laundering scandal, the bank made a U-turn minutes after the announcement from the Estonian regulator.

They had also issued a statement later on Tuesday (February 19th), that, they would be closing down their lending businesses in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Russia. According to Danske Bank’s 2018’s annual report, the bank’s operation in these four countries had generated some 657 million Danish Crown ($100 million) in yearly revenues.