September 13, 2018 / 5:48 PM / 7 days ago

Danske Bank CEO rejected calls to scale back Estonian business in 2013 - FT

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danske Bank’s (DANSKE.CO) chief executive rejected calls in 2013 to scale back business at the bank’s Estonian branch, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

The bank will on Sept. 19 publish the findings of an investigation into past activities in Estonia that could be one of the biggest money-laundering scandals in Europe.

At a meeting in October 2013, CEO Thomas Borgen was told by the head of business banking that the level of business at the bank’s non-resident portfolio in Estonia was higher than rivals’ and “needed to be reviewed and potentially reduced,” according to minutes of the meeting seen by the newspaper. 

In response, the minutes said that Borgen “emphasised the need for a middle ground, and wanted to discuss this further outside of this forum,” the FT reported.

“This was the point at which a decision was made not to stop this business,” the FT quoted a person involved in Danske Bank’s investigation of suspicious transactions at its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015 next as saying.

A Danske Bank spokesman said in an e-mail to Reuters that they would not be commenting until the conclusions of the investigation had been shared.

Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

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