Capital Calls: Danske CEO exit creates ripples for UBS



(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.


SLIDING DOORS. Danske Bank is ripping off the band-aid by replacing Chris Vogelzang. The Danish lender’s chief executive stepped down on Monday after he was named by Dutch authorities probing money laundering at ABN Amro, his former employer, even though the bank put its troubles to bed with a 480 million euro settlement Vogelzang’s exit is in stark contrast to Ralph Hamers, who remains CEO of UBS even though a Dutch court in December ordered a criminal investigation related to his tenure as boss of ING. Dutch prosecutors allege that the bigger Dutch bank failed to crack down on possible money laundering.

Danske is admittedly a special case. Given its 2018 scandal over illicit money flows in Estonia, the Danish group must keep its hands super-clean. Still, UBS has historic problems of its own, not least a French tax case. The board and UBS regulator FINMA conducted due diligence before hiring Hamers last year and found no cause for concern. Vogelzang’s exit nonetheless creates an uncomfortable parallel. (By Liam Proud)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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