Denmark's Danske Bank (>> Danske Bank A/S) and Sweden's Nordea (>> Nordea Bank AB) said on Monday they were cooperating with authorities over possible incidents of money laundering via their overseas branches from 2011 to 2014.
Danish newspaper Berlingske reported on Monday that the two banks were being investigated by authorities in Moldova and Latvia over money laundering.
More than 7 billion Danish crowns (822 million pounds) was transferred to accounts in the two banks from 2011 through 2014, the newspaper said citing data it had accessed in cooperation with the journalist organisation Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
Danske Bank said in a press release that the transactions were almost exclusively carried out at its Estonian branch, and that the bank had already discussed them with Danish and Estonian authorities. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority reprimanded it over the matter last year, it said.
"At the time, our systems and procedures in Estonia were insufficient to ensure that we could not be used for money laundering," Group General Counsel at Danske Bank Flemming Pristed said in the press release.
"We have taken the measures necessary to remedy this," he said.
A Nordea spokesman said the bank would "never tolerate" being used as a base for money laundering. He said that the transactions in the Swedish bank took place between 2012 and 2014 and that the bank had since begun an extensive programme against money laundering.
"We will of course cooperate fully with the authorities," the Nordea spokesman said.
(Reporting by Teis Jensen, additional reporting by Johan Sennero and Johan Ahlander in Stockholm; Editing by Hugh Lawson)