Picture: REUTERS/JACOB GRONHOLT-PEDERSEN
Picture: REUTERS/JACOB GRONHOLT-PEDERSEN

Copenhagen — Danish prosecutors have filed preliminary charges against former Danske Bank executive Lars Morch as part of their investigation into the bank’s involvement in one of the world’s biggest money-laundering scandals.

The move, confirmed by Morch, takes the total number of former Danske managers facing preliminary charges in the case to nine, said people with knowledge of the investigation.

Morch, responsible for business banking — including the Baltic operations of Denmark’s biggest bank from 2012 until he resigned in April 2018 — did not detail the preliminary charges, and his lawyer declined to give further comment.

Two sources familiar with the matter said others facing preliminary charges were accused of breaching Danish money-laundering laws.

The case relates to €200bn of suspicious transactions that passed through Danske Bank’s Estonian branch from 2007-2015.

Former Danske CEO Thomas Borgen, who stepped down last October when the scale of the scandal became clear in an internal report, was also among the people charged, newspaper Berlingske reported last week, citing his lawyer.

Former CFO Henrik Ramlau-Hansen has also been charged, he said on Tuesday, confirming a newspaper report from Monday.

Ramlau-Hansen was finance director from 2001- 2015. He then chaired the Danish financial regulator from 2016 until he stepped down in May 2018 as he did not think he should play any further role in the discussion of Danske’s handling of the case.

Danske’s former group general counsel Flemming Pristed, who resigned in October 2018, was charged as well, his lawyer Jens Christensen said.

Copenhagen-based lawyer Arvid Andersen confirmed that one of his clients had been charged in the case too, but said he had asked for a publication ban of his client’s name.

Denmark’s state prosecutor filed preliminary charges against Danske Bank in November for alleged violations of the country’s anti-money laundering act in relation to its Estonian branch. The prosecutor said at the time he would clarify whether individuals could be held responsible. 

Reuters