The European Commission has asked the European Banking Authority (EBA) to verify whether the national supervisory authorities of Danske Bank in Denmark and Estonia have sufficiently fulfilled their obligation to prevent money laundering and, at the same time have imposed timely sanctions. Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova’s request to EBA followed only after several letters from members of the Greens/EFA Group had been send, calling on the Commission and EBA to act in the Danske Bank case.
Last week the Danish Danske Bank admitted that its Estonian subsidiary could have been used between 2007 and 2015 to launder a “large” part of around 200 billion euros which non-residents had channeled through the subsidiary. Criminal investigations are already underway in Denmark and Estonia, and the US and UK authorities are investigating the case. CEO Thomas Borgen will step down and Board member Ole Andersen says several employees have been reported to the police.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group comments:
“Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova acts late, but better than never. Money laundering is a security risk in Europe. For too long, the European Commission has watched Member States trample on European rules against money laundering and terrorist financing. The money laundering scandals at banks in Malta, Latvia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany reveal the failure of the national money laundering authorities. The mandate to EBA to audit the national authorities in Denmark and Estonia can only be a first step. To enforce European law, the Commission must also examine infringement procedures against the Member States concerned. The EU must rapidly ensure the rule of law.
Enforcement of European law alone is not enough to prevent further money laundering scandals in the European Banking Union. The EBA has closed its proceedings against the Maltese Money Laundering Authority and the Maltese Financial Supervisory Authority because the provisions of European banking law and the European Anti-Money Laundering Directive are not sufficiently clear. We urgently need amendments to the law in order to remove the ambiguities surrounding the tasks of money laundering supervision. We Greens will work to ensure that the EBA’s proposals for improvements are incorporated directly into the ongoing negotiations on the revision of the European banking rules.
Money laundering does not only take place in the financial sector. Europe must push criminal money out of Latvia, Cyprus, Malta and Estonia just as much as out of Germany’s real estate markets. That’s why Europe ultimately needs a European money laundering authority.”
Letter from the Greens/EFA Group to the European Banking Authority (EBA):
Letter from the Greens/EFA Group to the European Commission:
Letter from EBA concerning the termination of its proceedings against the Maltese Money Laundering Authority and the Maltese Financial Supervisory Authority: