Thursday, October 29, 2020

Denmark’s Ex-Finance Regulator Charged In Money Laundering Scandal

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Henrik Ramlau-Hansen, the former chair of Denmark’s financial regulator and former Danske Bank finance director, has been charged by Danish economic prosecutors.

According to a report in The Financial Times, Ramlau-Hansen’s home was raided in connection with a money laundering scandal valued at  €200 billion. Ramlau-Hansen chaired the Financial Supervisory Authority in Denmark from 2016 to 2018. He resigned in 2018 at the same time a scathing Danske report from the regulator was issued. He has recused himself from the investigation. He’s been working as an assistant professor at Copenhagen Business School, reported The Financial Times.

People familiar with the investigation told The Financial Times the former regulator was charged for not preventing transactions at Danske Bank when he was finance director from 2011 to 2015. Danske’s former chief executive Thomas Borgen had his home raided as well. People familiar with the investigation told The Financial Times that other executives at Danske have been charged due to money laundering scandals. Those indictments are sealed, noted the report.  According to the paper, the move to raid Ramlau-Hansen home is an escalation of the investigation which has hurt Danske market capitalization and resulted in the ouster of executives and a slew of investigations around the world.

The Financial Times reported the charges against the Danske executives were brought following the U.S.’s request to conduct interviews in the case. That implies the Department of Justice and authorities in Denmark are coordinating their efforts.  In September Danske disclosed that  €200 billion worth of money flowed from Russia and ex-Soviet states to the Danske Estonia branch. The money laundering went on from 2007 to 2015.  The charges against the ex-Danske Bank finance director come at the same time the bank has named a replacement for Borgen. The bank tapped Chris Vogelzang, a Dutch executive who spent 18 years at ABN Amro. He will be tasked with restoring the image of Denmark’s largest bank.

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