(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 https://danskebank.com/news-and-insights/news-archive/company-announcements/2021/ca19042021 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 https://www.abnamro.com/en/news/abn-amro-accepted-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 https://www.breakingviews.com/considered-view/danske-tries-to-cauterize-money-laundering-wound/?bved=NTE%3D&bvshr=MTIwNzU4 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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