From the markets to the boardroom to the picket line, the reach of Danske Bank’s money laundering fraud scandal continued to play out this week.
Reuters delivered several stories. A Wednesday morning story reported that foreign investors sold Danish shares worth almost $14 billion in 2018, according to a report from Denmark’s central bank.
The divestment of bank equities may reflect a loss of confidence in the Danish banking sector in the wake of Danske Bank’s money laundering case, it said.
“The trust from international investors has certainly been reduced,” governor Lars Rohde told reporters in Copenhagen. He said political initiatives to combat money laundering were paramount to restore foreigners’ trust in Danish banks.
Rohde is the chairman of the board of governors of Danmarks Nationalbank.
The Danske Bank scandal was exposed by whistleblower Howards Wilkinson. He reported suspicious financial transactions at bank’s Estonia branch, where he worked until 2014. It has been calculated that up to $20 billion in fraudulent financial activity have been brought to light by Wilkinson’s disclosures.
Stephen M. Kohn, Wilkinson’s whistleblower attorney, said in a statement that whistleblowers need to be supported, not vilified: “If the Bank had simply properly investigated Mr. Wilkinson’s initial disclosures in 2012 and 2013, they could have avoided most of this mess.”
A March 18 story reported more upheaval. Investors arriving at the annual shareholder meeting were greeted by a dozen protesters. The investors had their own issues.
Some of the 700 or so shareholders present called for management to be held personally responsible and others demanded the bank be split up as the fallout from the scandal continues….
“The bank has made a fool out of shareholders, customers and the entire Danish population,” shareholder Nanna Bonde said.