The largest lender in the Netherlands, Danske Bank, which is in the midst of one of the biggest banking scandals ever, has now been denied its request to field its candidate for the position of CEO. The bank, which was accsused of channeling $230bn in illicit funds through its Estonian branch, has now been denied to float Jacob Aarup-Andersen as the CEO following Thomas Borgen.
“The board of directors unanimously backed Jacob Aarup-Andersen as new CEO, knowing full well that longer experience in certain areas would have been desirable,” Ole Andersen, Danske’s chairman, said. “The board has noted the FSA’s reply. The board is in dialogue with other potential candidates and will now continue the recruitment process in order to find the best possible person for the position.”
The Guardian reported that the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) intervened to stop the appointment of Aarup-Andersen, warning that the internal candidate did not have enough experience to lead the country’s biggest lender, which has been plunged into crisis by what the European commission said in September was “the biggest scandal” in Europe.
The 40-year old was the unanimous choice to succeed Borgen, stated the report. Aarup-Andersen is expected to continue his position as head of wealth management and board member. Analysts said they expected the bank would have to look for an external candidate to fill the top job.
The scandal that broke in 2017 has unravelled the extent of financial fraud, and effectively liquidated the reputation of the bank, which is the largest lender in The Netherlands. The bank is facing criminal investigations in six countries, including the USA.
According to Al-Jazeera, the sum of $235bn, was paid in by non-residents, with most deposits coming from Russia. Initially, it was understood that the amount of money laundered came up to around $2bn but investigations by the FSA revealed that the figure was infact $235bn.
“Experts have been talking about the largest ever money-laundering scandal in history, but we still don’t have a full picture, Danske Bank holds a third of Danish people’s savings and faith in the country’s financial system is being lost due to the scandal,” said Maira Martini, knowledge coordinator at anti-corruption NGO Transparency International, to Al Jazeera.