Danske Bank faces preliminary charges related to market abuse

The Danske Bank sign can be seen at the Estonian branch of the bank in Tallinn, Estonia on March 25, 2019. REUTERS / Ints Kalnins

COPENHAGEN, June 25 (Reuters) – Danske Bank said on Friday it was charged with breaking market abuse rules after a criminal complaint filed by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) a year ago .

The FSA had said that Danske, who was involved in another money laundering scandal, misinformed the market by facilitating “wash trades”, in which the same person sells and buys securities, between August 12, 2016 and February 22. 2019. Such transactions can create misleading prices for the securities.

Danske said the preliminary charges concerned “two potential breaches of the Market Abuse Regulation on the basis of inadequate control of transactions in financial instruments and market manipulation following certain auto-matching transactions.”

The charges were brought by the Danish state prosecutor for serious economic and international crimes.

Danske Chief Compliance Officer Philippe Vollot said: “The bank did not have adequate market surveillance in place, so since 2019 we have made significant investments to strengthen our commercial oversight, systems and controls. and have also put in place enhanced pre-trade controls. . “

Vollot said the bank, which was ready to cooperate with the prosecutor, had “seen no indication of intentional wrongdoing or harm to customers or market participants.”

Infractions can be sanctioned by fines.

In addition, Danske is under investigation by authorities in several countries after more than 200 billion euros ($ 239 billion) in suspicious transactions passed through its Estonian branch from 2007 to 2015, in the one of the biggest money laundering cases in the world.

($ 1 = 0.8375 euros)

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Edmund Blair

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