The Wall Street Journal: U.S. probes Danske Bank over money laundering allegations involving Russia

Financial Services


U.S. law enforcement agencies are probing Denmark’s largest bank over allegations of massive money laundering flows from Russia and former Soviet states, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The Justice Department, Treasury Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are each examining Danske Bank after a confidential whistleblower complaint was filed to the SEC more than two years ago, the person familiar said. The probes are ongoing and related to transactions at Danske’s

DANSKE, -2.79%

 tiny Estonian branch over several years through 2015. The Journal reported earlier this month that the bank is studying $150 billion that flowed through accounts of non-Estonian account holders at the branch.

The whistleblower complaint identified Deutsche Bank AG

DBK, -0.15%

 and Citigroup Inc.

C, +0.61%

 , both overseen by U.S. regulators, as involved with transactions into and out of Danske Bank’s Estonian branch. Deutsche Bank acted as a correspondent bank for Danske, handling dollar wire transfers. Citigroup’s Moscow office was involved in some of the transfers through Danske Bank’s Estonian branch, the person familiar with the probes said.

A spokesman for Danske said the bank often talks to regulators. “However, as a general rule, we do not comment,” the spokesman said.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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