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Danske Bank books $1.9 billion provision in Estonia case


(Reuters) — Danske Bank on Thursday booked a 14 billion Danish crown ($1.89 billion) provision, edging closer to a long-awaited settlement with authorities over its involvement in one of the world’s biggest money-laundering scandals.

Denmark’s biggest lender had said it faced a potentially “material” fine over its involvement in the scandal, in which more than 200 billion euros ($200.98 billion) in suspicious payments were funneled through its now-closed Estonian branch.

Danske said discussions with authorities, namely the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Danish Special Crime Unit, were ongoing and there was no certainty regarding the outcome.

“The discussions with U.S. and Danish authorities related to the Estonia matter are now at a stage where Danske Bank can reliably estimate the total financial impact of a potential coordinated resolution,” CEO Carsten Egeriis said.

The bank said is working toward a resolution before the end of the year, but that the timing was beyond its control.

The news sent shares in the bank up as much as 12% to their highest level since mid-June, although the stock remains at less than half its value before the money laundering case was revealed in 2017.