By Teis Jensen
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danske Bank (CO:DANSKE) faces a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over a 200 billion euro ($230 billion) money laundering scandal involving its Estonian branch, increasing long-held investor fears.
Denmark’s largest bank said on Thursday that it had “received requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with a criminal investigation relating to the bank’s Estonian branch”.
The bank, which this week appointed Jesper Nielsen as interim chief executive to handle the crisis in the short term
after the resignation last month of Thomas Borgen, said it was cooperating with the U.S. authorities.
Shares in Danske Bank fell by three percent to 160 Danish crowns, their lowest level since January 2015 and a 33 percent decline so far this year, as its investors and customers digested the U.S. investigation and the bank’s decision to halt a share buyback program to bolster its capital.