October 22, 2018 / 3:44 PM / 22 days ago

Danske Bank was behind large share of Estonian cross-border payments in 2008-2015 - central bank

FILE PHOTO: General view of the Danske Bank building in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danske Bank, which is involved in a 200 billion euro ($230 billion) money laundering scandal in Estonia, processed a large share of the country’s cross-border payments between 2008 and 2015, its central bank said on Monday.

Estonia has been rocked by revelations that banks there laundered money from Russia, Moldova and Azerbaijan via non-resident bank accounts.

Shares in Nordic banks Swedbank, SEB and Nordea slumped when media reports this month suggested that the scale of the money laundering through the small Baltic country may have been larger then previously thought.

“Statistics show clearly that a large share of total cross-border payments was processed by Danske Bank,” the Estonian central bank said in a statement.

The central bank said earlier this month that banks doing business in Estonia handled cross-border transactions of more than $1 trillion in and out of the country between 2008 and 2017.

At the peak in 2013, Danske Bank processed 29.8 billion euros of payments going out of the country, giving it a market share by volume of 41.3 percent, the central bank said.

In the 2008-2015 period, Danske processed 147.7 billion euros of the total 446.5 billion payments going out of the country, while Swedbank, SEB and Nordea processed 104.5 billion euros, 74.8 billion euros and 44.4 billion euros, respectively, according to the central bank.

($1 = 0.8712 euros)

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Adrian Croft, Susan Fenton and Kirsten Donovan

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