Danish FSA sounds alarm

EPA-EFE/Thomas Lekfeldt

Exterior view on the Danske Bank in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Danish FSA sounds alarm


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Denmark’s bank watchdog warned that the country came “very close” earlier this year to ending up “in the worst company” amid a review of its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing efforts.

Danish FSA Director General Jesper Berg said the financial industry shares responsibility for ensuring Denmark “doesn’t end up in the same situation again.”

As reported by Bloomberg, he urged banks to employ technology, for example, to strengthen their efforts to combat whitewashing, according to a slide presentation given on September 11 at a conference organised by the industry group Finance Denmark.

Earlier this month, Denmark’s biggest lender, Danske Bank A/S, re-opened an investigation into its operations in Estonia amid reports that the unit was for years used to launder money via its unit in the Baltic nation. Danish police in August visited Nordea Bank AB’s Danish unit amid an ongoing investigation into violations of anti-money laundering legislation.

An August review by the Financial Action Task Force, a global organisation created in 1989 to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism, criticized Denmark for not having a national policy and inadequate resources to address the problem. It urged authorities to “do more to properly assess and understand the risks it is exposed to.”

As quoted by Bloomberg, Berg said the review has triggered a response by Denmark. That includes tightening of legal framework, including penalties, the formulation of a national policy, allocation of more resources and greater cooperation.

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