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Report: Estonia to open Danske Bank probe over fresh money-laundering claims

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Report: Estonia to open Danske Bank probe over fresh money-laundering claims

Estonian financial regulator Finantsinspektsioon will launch an investigation into Danske Bank A/S following reports that the Danish lender had been aware of alleged money laundering at its Estonian unit as early as 2013, Reuters reported Feb. 27.

The regulator said it will examine whether Danske Bank failed to disclose additional information during an on-site inspection at the lender's Estonian branch in 2014.

Livia Vosman, head of communications at Finantsinspektsioon, told Reuters that it will immediately open a new investigation and will be seeking information that was not previously disclosed by the bank.

Anders Meinert Jørgensen, Danske Bank's head of compliance, said in an emailed statement that the lender has held constructive discussions with Estonian authorities regarding the matter, the report noted.

Danske Bank shut down 20 Russian customer accounts in 2013 after a whistleblower alerted it that its Estonian branch was being used in potential money-laundering activities linked to Russia, The Guardian reported Feb. 26.

The Danish lender reportedly closed the accounts after concluding that they were being used to channel money through opaque British companies by members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's family and the FSB spy agency.