Danske Bank Estonia: have we followed all the money?

I want to come back to an aspect of the evidence given by whistle blower Howard Wilkinson to both the Danish and EU Parliaments which has been, I think, largely overlooked and needs re-examining.

The Danske Bank Estonia money flows

The above slide was put up on screen at both sessions to explain how the money both came into and went out of the Estonian branch of Danske. And there are a few interesting arrows that seem to have escaped comment.

One is in the bottom left hand corner. The Russian subsidiary of a US bank was apparently routing funds through Danske Denmark before they went on to Danske Estonia. Which means that they came directly under the auspices of the Danish FSA as home regulator. We don’t know when these flows took place but it does rather go against the narrative that the Danish FSA were totally reliant on their Estonian counterparts in terms of their AML supervision. It would be good to learn more about how this money was sent in to Estonia via Denmark – straightforward bank transfers or bond trades? And if they were bank transfers, did they involve Danish K/S companies which have been singled out (along with the even more egregious use of UK LLPs) as a central source of some of the issues?

The second interesting arrow leads directly from bank customers (presumably in Russia) to Danske Lithuania and then, apparently out to the bank’s European clearer via their US subsidiary (known to be Deutsche Bank). The graphic also seems to show the bank’s customers remitting direct to Deutsche (as there are two arrows stemming from this flow – one to Lithuania and one direct).  I can’t recall seeing any mention of Danske Lithuania in any of the reporting thus far.

Finally, and most interestingly is the arrow back into Danske Estonia FROM Deutsche. No-one seems to have noticed this. What was generating that flow and how much was involved?

I don’t have answers to any of these questions at the moment and I’m not particularly well placed to find out but I hope, if enough reporters with well-placed connections read this, some answers might just be forthcoming.