Danske Bank’s Gonna Need A New Business Model And A New CEO

Thomas Borgen’s just gonna cut out through the back door.

Danske Bank—the little Danish Deutsche Bank that couldn’t—finally got around to releasing the results of the money-laundering investigation it finally got around to launching four years after suspecting that something fishy was afoot at its Estonian branch. Actually, make that seven years. And the $150 billion in suspicious transactions from 2007 through 2015 was actually $233 billion, which is more than Estonia’s GDP for the period. Not that they could figure out exactly how much of that was illegal even by Russian standards. In related news,


Danske Bank Chief Executive Thomas Borgen resigned as the bank published results of a year-long investigation into how its operation in the Baltic former Soviet Republic turned into a hub for illicit flows out of Russia and other ex-Soviet states into the West. The report said a “large portion” of the transactions are likely related to money laundering, but it said that after a year of studying the issue, it couldn’t determine how much.

Borgen became CEO in 2012, a year before Danske’s meddling anti-money laundering chief began asking why so much goddamned money was flowing through such a small goddamned country, something about which Borgen might have had an inkling, given that he was head of the bank’s international operations before getting the top job—after assuring the executive board in 2010 that none of the billions of euros in Russian transactions going down in Tallinn “could give rise to concern.” Which is something else that proved to be not entirely true once one looks at it.

Danske CEO Resigns After Money-Laundering Probe Expands to $230 Billion in Transactions [WSJ]