Danske Bank Whistleblower’s Testimony at Danish Parliament Causes Media Frenzy

Howard Wilkinson Danish Parliament
Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson and attorney Stephen Kohn speak to reporters outside hearing at the Danish parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 19, 2018. ©Leslie Rose Photography

Former Employee’s Warnings Were Ignored by Danske Bank Officials

Today the Danish Parliament heard testimony from Howard Wilkinson, the lone whistleblower in the Danske Bank money laundering scandal. Outside the hearing room the hall was full of reporters looking for comment from Mr. Wilkinson and his whistleblower lawyer, Stephen M. Kohn. Due to warnings from Danske Bank, which explicitly warned him that he could face criminal or civil prosecution for speaking on the money laundering issues, little has been heard from Mr. Wilkinson prior to today’s appearance.

Mr. Wilkinson, a British citizen, worked for Danske Bank’s Estonia branch from 2007 to 2014. Mr. Wilkinson said that he wrote four whistleblower reports about the dirty money, some of which was coming from Russia.

During Mr. Wilkinson’s remarks today, he expressed his dismay at Denmark’s lack of whistleblower protections which prevented him from reporting banking irregularities to law enforcement after the bank refused to act on his internal reports.

“Sometimes the alarm goes off when there is a fire in the basement, which no one sees,” Mr. Wilkinson said at the hearing before Denmark’s Parliament on Monday. “There was a big smoke alarm that started. But they tried actively to turn off the smoke alarm.”

Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson testifies during hearing at the Danish parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 19, 2018. ©Leslie Rose Photography

Mr. Kohn told the hearing about recent reports European whistleblower laws in which Denmark ranked at the bottom for whistleblower protection, receiving the lowest possible score, “0.”  He drew contrast with U.S. laws that grant protection to those that testify before the U.S. Congress, noting those same protections do not exists in Denmark.

Watch Mr. Wilkinson testimony here (starts at 1:24:12): https://www.ft.dk/aktuelt/webtv/video/20181/eru/tv.5761.aspx

Read more on the Danske Bank Whistleblower.

Here is some of the media coverage from today’s hearing:

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