EU states force clearing of Estonian, Danish regulators over Danske Bank

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COPENHAGEN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – National banking supervisors who control the European Union banking watchdog effectively forced it to clear financial regulators in Estonia and Denmark, who were investigated in relation to suspected money laundering activities by Danske Bank, a member of the European parliament said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Danske Bank sign is seen at the bank’s Estonian branch in Tallinn, Estonia August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

The European Banking Authority (EBA) said in a statement on Wednesday it was closing its investigation.

“At a vote at its meeting on 16 April 2019 the EBA’s Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal for a breach of Union law recommendation,” it added.

The rejection blocked any further legal action by the EBA against the Estonian and Danish supervisors and signaled EU states’ reluctance to let the bloc’s authorities investigate the exposure of their banking systems to financial crime.

Danish and Estonian financial regulators have publicly blamed each other for the Danske Bank money laundering scandal, after Denmark’s largest bank last year admitted that 200 billion euros ($226 billion) of suspicious transactions flowed through its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

The EBA in February opened a formal investigation into a possible breach of