November 19, 2018 / 10:08 AM / a month ago

Danske Bank whistleblower tells Danish lawmkers his warnings were not heeded

COPENHAGEN, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The whistleblower who helped reveal 200 billion euro ($228 billion) in money laundering involving Danske Bank told the Danish parliament on Monday that the bank’s management had not taken his warnings seriously.

Suspicious payments through Danske Bank’s Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015 have cost the chief executive and chairman of Denmark’s largest lender their jobs, sparking inquiries in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the United States.

Howard Wilkinson, the head of the bank’s trading unit in the Baltics from 2007 to 2014, told the parliament that it became clear in April 2014 that Danske Bank’s management did not take his reports on money laundering seriously.

Danske Bank has acknowledged that its money laundering controls in Estonia were insufficient, but in a report issued in September it said the board, the chairman and the chief executive had not breached their legal obligations.

The scandal has unravelled at the same time as a major government tax scandal and a fraud case in the ministry for social affairs, undermining confidence in once trusted institutions and sparking calls for action from lawmakers. ($1 = 0.8760 euros) (Reporting by Teis Jensen, additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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