D.he CEO of the Danish financial institution Danske Bank, Chris Vogelzang, has resigned. This was announced by the bank’s board of directors in a stock exchange release on Monday. The background is money laundering investigations against his former employer, the Dutch bank ABN Amro. Vogelzang was named as a suspect.
“I am very surprised by the decision of the Dutch authorities,” said Vogelzang, according to the announcement. His status as a suspect does not mean that he will be charged. He left ABN Amro more than four years ago. At the same time, Danske Bank announced that Carsten Egeriis would take over the post of CEO.
Amro has to pay almost half a billion euros for the money laundering violations. With the public prosecutor’s office, the institute agreed on the payment of 480 million euros, which would be reflected in the balance sheet for the first quarter, said ABN Amro on Monday. “This agreement marks the end of a painful and disappointing episode for ABN Amro,” said bank chief Robert Swaak. The institute has learned from this and regrets the matter. According to the authorities, the investigators are targeting three ex-board members from ABN Amro – one of them is Vogelzang.
Extensive money laundering scandal
Danske Bank also hit the headlines a few years ago because of a widespread money laundering scandal in the bank’s Estonian branch. The case led to resignations and police investigations in several countries. Deutsche Bank is also involved in the scandal; it was the correspondent bank for Danske Bank for years.
In the course of the money laundering investigation, ING, also based in the Netherlands, had to pay a record fine of 775 million euros. In connection with this, there is also a criminal investigation into the role of former ING boss Ralph Hamers, who is now CEO of the major Swiss bank UBS. In September 2019, the public prosecutor accused ABN Amro of failing to recognize accounts involved in money laundering, of not ending relationships with suspicious customers and of not reporting such transactions to the relevant authorities.
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