Foreign deposits fall in euro zone banks after money-laundering scandals
12 Mar 2019

Foreign deposits dropped in most euro zone states in the second half of 2018, after banks were hit by money-laundering scandals, European Central Bank data showed, a trend that could expose one of the bloc’s weak spots in tackling financial crime.

Large holdings of foreign deposits and outsized cross-border financial flows are common features of lenders embroiled in money laundering cases, like Latvia’s defunct ABLV bank and the Estonian branches of Denmark’s Danske Bank and Sweden’s Swedbank.

All have been accused of having handled money from Russia that may be the proceeds of crime, corruption or tax evasion.

The fall in foreign deposits began in the second half of last year, the data show.

That coincided with prosecutors opening a probe in July into Danske Bank for alleged money laundering at its Estonian branch, in what soon emerged as one of the biggest illicit financial operations in Europe.

– Reuters, 11 March 2019.

Link to Reuters

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