December 27, 2019 / 1:00 PM / a month ago

More investors sue Danske Bank for alleged money laundering

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - About 60 investors have sued Danske Bank for 1.5 billion crowns ($224 million) over alleged money laundering, their lawyers said on Friday, the third such case to hit Denmark’s biggest lender.

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past Danske Bank's Estonian branch in Tallinn, Estonia January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

Danske Bank said it would defend itself against the lawsuit and that it had no information about the timing of the case.

Danske Bank is under investigation in several countries including the United States over 200 billion euros ($220 billion) of payments through its branch in Estonia between 2007 and 2015, many of which the bank has said were suspicious.

“We will defend ourselves against the demands and deal with any development in collaboration with the bank’s lawyers,” Danske said in a statement.

Danish law firm Nemeth Sigetty said it had filed the latest suit at the District Court of Copenhagen on behalf of a group of about 60 international investors.

The investors, including pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers from at least 12 countries, are represented by the International Securities Associations and Foundations Management Company for Damaged Danske Investors (ISAF-Danske).

The lawsuit claims Danske violated Danish Capital Market Laws by deliberately misleading and keeping investors in the dark for years, ISAF-Danske said in a statement.

It said the bank did not disclose that “its financial income statements and retained earnings included significant earnings from known illegal high-risk money laundering activities”.

Danske Bank is already facing two lawsuits in the United States, including one by 232 pension funds and other investors claiming damages of nearly $800 million.

Shares in Danske were 0.51% higher at 1337 GMT on Friday.

($1 = 6.6958 Danish crowns)

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by David Clarke

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