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Friday 06.12.2019 | Name days: Niklāvs, Niks, Nikolajs
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Danske Estonia had quantity of non-resident transactions as only criterion, suspect banker says

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In non-resident operations of Danske Bank’s scandalous Estonian branch, the only criterion in the investigated period was their number due to profitability, according to former worker Mihhail Murnikov’s interview with Bloomberg.

From 2009 to 2015, Murnikov worked at the non-resident unit of Danske Bank A/S in Estonia, now he, together with 13 of his former colleagues, is a suspect in case linked to the suspected money laundering of a total of 200 billion euros via the Danish lender, Bloomberg reports.

«The whole non-resident business was built on one principle: Everyone was making money on cross-border transactions because non-residents had to pay USD 90 per transaction,»

Murnikov, who explained an interview in Tallinn. Danske’s costs associated with each transaction amounted to USD 1, according to him.

Read more on this: Estonian Danske Bank former head found dead by police

By 2013, when profits peaked, Murnikov says Danske’s Estonian bankers were told to process close to half a million transactions for 4,000 non-resident clients, mostly from the former Soviet Union. That year, returns at the non-resident unit hit 402%, compared with about 7% for the whole Danske Bank group.

«I had a clear plan,» Murnikov recalled. With the 300 clients he was working with, the former banker explained he needed to «make 40,000 transactions a year so I could get a bonus.» He noted the only metric Danske used to determine an employee’s bonus was the number of transactions he or she serviced.

Danske Bank’s spokesperson commented to Bloomberg on Sunday, October 6: «As authorities are still investigating the matter, we cannot comment further beyond what we disclosed in the report of September 2018. As we have previously said, we should have never had the now closed portfolio of non-resident customers in Estonia.»


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