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UPDATE 1-Danske Bank whistleblower says his warnings were not heeded

Updated: 19-11-2018 16:01 IST
The whistleblower who helped to reveal suspected money laundering involving Danske Bank told the Danish parliament on Monday that the bank had not taken his warnings seriously and had offered him money to keep quiet.

Suspicious payments totalling 200 billion euros ($228.5 billion) through Danske Bank's Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015 have sparked investigations in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the United States and cost the chief executive and chairman of Denmark's largest lender their jobs.

Howard Wilkinson, the head of the bank's trading unit in the Baltics from 2007 to 2014, told the parliament that it became clear in April 2014 that Danske Bank's management did not take his reports on money laundering seriously.

The former Danske Bank employee said there had been a "curious lack of interest at senior level management" in 2014 regarding suspicious transactions through its Estonian branch.

Wilkinson said he had received a waiver from Danske Bank on Oct. 29 allowing him to speak to U.S. authorities.

Danske Bank has acknowledged that its money laundering controls in Estonia were insufficient, but in a report issued in September it said the board, the chairman and the chief executive had not breached their legal obligations.

The scandal has emerged at the same time as a major government tax scandal and a fraud case in the Danish ministry for social affairs, undermining confidence in once trusted institutions and sparking calls for action from lawmakers.

Wilkinson also told parliament that the Danish FSA financial regulator did not contact him before issuing a report on the money laundering allegations in May 2018.

He said Denmark should formally investigate the FSA's regulation of Danske Bank in relation to its Estonian branch from 2007 onwards, including the conduct of senior officials. ($1 = 0.8760 euros) (Reporting by Teis Jensen, additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Writing by Alexander Smith; Editing by Keith Weir)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)