NCA Launches Investigation Into Danske Bank

An investigation was launched by the National Crime Agency (NCA) into the possible links between an organisation that is based in the United Kingdom and one of the biggest-ever money laundering scandals in the world.

Citing unnamed sources, the Financial Times reported that the said investigation is centred around Danske Bank, the biggest lender in Denmark. It is likely to concentrate on the role that is played by customers who are suspected of illicit activities using a company that is registered in the United Kingdom during the wrongdoings.

The move from the NCA comes as the investigators heighten its efforts to trace as much of the $230 billion (£176 billion) that was laundered through the Estonian bank branch of Danske as possible.

Earlier this week, the bank unveiled that corporate entities in the United Kingdom were only second to Russia in being the largest proportion of non-resident customers at the Estonian branch of Danske.

Also earlier this week, the chief executive of Danske Bank stepped down from his position after the release of a damning report into the money laundering scandal which has greatly affected the lender.

Thomas Borgen, the  Danske Bank boss, stated that it has been “clear to me for some time” that he would have to step down after lax controls on money laundering in the Estonian operations of the bank were revealed.

As much as €200 billion flowed through 15,000 accounts of customers between the period of 2007 and 2015.

The investigation of the NCA comes amid intensifying efforts to clamp down on key Russian assets following the Salisbury nerve attack, which has since worsened the relations between Moscow and Westminster.

In a statement to the Financial Times, the NCA disclosed: “The NCA is aware of the use of UK registered companies in this case and has related ongoing operational activity. The threat posed by the use of UK company structures as a route for money laundering is widely recognised and the NCA is working with partners across government to restrict the ability of criminals to use them in this way.”