Danske Bank Top Official Latest to Resign

Published: 12 July 2018

Danske BankDanske Bank

By Jesse Chase-Lubitz

The head of compliance at Danske Bank, Anders Meinert Jorgensen, resigned Wednesday amidst a money laundering scandal that has been unraveling over the last four months.

Jorgensen is only the most recent top official to resign after a series of revelations showed flaws in anti-money controls in the banks’ Estonia branch. In April, the head of business banking, Lars Morch, and the head of Baltic business banking, Tono Vanajuur, both left their posts.

The most recent update came out last week, when a new leak of bank data estimated the total amount of money laundered through Danske at US$8.3 billion. 

Danske Bank was named in the Panama Papers investigations by OCCRP and partners and was a crucial component of OCCRP’s recent investigation, The Azerbaijani Laundromat.

The Laundromat investigation used two years’ worth of records from four accounts at the Danske Bank branch in Estonia to unravel a complex maze of transactions that explain what happened to $3 billion. 

In a February report, OCCRP found that the Estonian branch had closed several accounts that had been used by a member of Vladimir Putin’s family and Russia’s intelligence service to launder huge amounts of money.

Speaking about his resignation, Jorgensen told FinansWatch that "there is no direct link to the money laundering case in Estonia,” according to the New York Times. “But it is clear that it is generally very intense to work with compliance, and especially the past year in Danske Bank has been very intense."

Danske Bank launched investigations into the Estonia branch regarding money laundering between 2007 and 2015, according to the bank's website dedicated to the investigation.

“Over the past year alone, we have sent almost 9,300 reports to the authorities regarding suspicious matters,” the website says.

Since the investigation began in April, shares in Danske Bank have fallen nearly 25 percent.

“Anders has contributed extensively to strengthening compliance work across the Group,” Thomas F. Borgen, the CEO of Danske Bank said in a comment to OCCRP. 

“I am sad to see him leave the Danske Bank Group and want to thank him for his efforts, which have helped ensure that Danske Bank’s compliance activities are now at a different level. I wish him all the best in his future career,” he said.