Banks, Financial Services, Lithuania

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 23.10.2020, 02:56

Danske Bank to review its financial operations in Lithuania, Latvia

BC, Vilnius, 25.09.2020.Print version
Following the publication of new information on the transfer of money of dubious origin via Danske Bank's divisions in the Baltic states, one of the largest financial groups in Northern Europe says it is cooperating with the authorities and reviewing its financial operations, but has refrained, however, from commenting on them in detail, writes LETA/BNS.

"We cannot comment specifically on these matters as they are part of ongoing investigations by the authorities. However, as we have previously said, it is clear that we should have never had that portfolio of non-resident customers. It is also clear that we were too slow in realizing the extent of the issues and to close it down," Philippe Vollot, chief compliance officer at Danske, said to LETA/BNS.

"As we have previously communicated, as a natural consequence of the Estonia case, we are also looking at other parts of our historical business, including in Latvia and Lithuania," Vollot said. "We are of course sharing any relevant information with the authorities as part of our ongoing cooperation."

Vollot also underlined that Danske Bank is now in a completely different position than it was in 2007-2015 with respect to combating financial crime and money laundering.

"We have terminated the non-resident portfolio of customers in Estonia, just as our operations in the Baltic states. We have significantly increased our resources dedicated to compliance and combating financial crime across the bank and have invested heavily in IT systems. We will continue to invest in the area and strengthen the knowledge and culture of compliance across the bank to continue to improve our financial crime defenses," he said.

The findings of an international probe by investigative journalists published on Thursday indicate that large amounts of money of dubious origin have been transferred over the past decade via Danske Bank's Lithuanian arm. The investigation is based on leaked data received by BuzzFeed News.

Lithuania's center of investigative journalism, Siena, says the probe centers on the so-called "mirror transactions". The goal of the alleged money-laundering schemes was to move large amounts of money out of Russia. 

Based on JPMorgan Chase's 2017 report to US institutions, Yellowstone Import made payments worth 63.39 mln US dollars to the Cyprus-registered Giortalo Investments Limited via Danske Bank's Lithuanian branch n June-August, 2011.

The report also states that Yellowstone Import made four payments for a total amount of 5.5 mln US dollars to MDM Investments Limited with links with Russian bank MDM in September-December, 2011, Siena claims.

Search site