Finnish union pulls investments after Danske Bank money laundering exposed

The money laundering scandal is thought to have seen €200 billion go through the bank's Estonia branch.

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File picture of Danske Bank branch / Credit: Danske Bank

The Union of Journalists UJF says it will no longer use Danske Bank to manage its  investments portfolio worth €6.5 million, after the bank was exposed as a portal for money laundering.

“The union’s investment activity must be ethically sustainable. This is what our members want to see” says UJF President Hanne Aho.

“We demand that those who handle assets are not involved in ethically or morally dubious activities. The scale and the seriousness of the Danske Bank money laundering scandal clearly shows that their supervision has not been adequate” she tells News Now Finland.

Bank’s huge money laundering problem

In September, a report was published showing the full extent of money laundering thought to be around €200 billion which went through the bank’s Estonia branch over a period of nine years.

UJF considers that the bank didn’t fulfill its obligations on financial accountability.

“We saw the report on this in September” says Marko Laitala, UJF board member and chair of the union’s financial committee. “Based on the information it contained as well as that from the media, it was clear that we had to respond on the matter”.

“We saw that this concerns a historically big financial and money laundering scandal where Danske Bank clearly did not act with the speed that it should have. Based on what has emerged from the case, we do not consider the bank’s supervision to be adequate” says Laitala.

The union also concludes that Danske Bank had suspicions of money laundering for several years, but did not take any action even as money transfers were being made for large amounts of money through accounts connected with Russia, Baltic countries and Cyprus. The money is suspected to be linked with organised crime.

UJF says it will still continue using Danske Bank for its day-to-day banking needs, it will just stop using the bank to manage its investment portfolio. But Hanne Aho says they’re keeping a close watch on the situation, not just with Danske Bank, but with the union’s other investments.

“Everyone handling the union´s investments must adhere to our ethical guidelines. Based on that, the union does not have other non-ethical investments” she says.