Danske Whistle-Blower Committed to Cooperating, Lawyer Says

(Bloomberg) -- Danske Bank A/S money-laundering whistle-blower Howard Wilkinson is “fully committed” to cooperating with the Danish Parliament, even with the threat of prosecution under bank secrecy laws, lawyer Stephen Kohn said Sunday.

“It is imperative that Denmark hold those responsible for criminal money laundering fully accountable,” Kohn said in an emailed statement. “This includes Danske Bank and the correspondent banks it worked with.”

Wilkinson, a British citizen, headed Danske’s Baltic trading operations from 2007 until April 2014. He left four months after he says he first alerted management in Copenhagen to the suspicious transactions, according to the Berlingske newspaper, which became the vehicle through which Wilkinson would provide information to the public.

Danske Bank has waived a nondisclosure agreement Wilkinson signed to let him testify, first to a Danish parliamentary committee on Monday and to a European Parliament panel on Wednesday. However, the bank warned he could face criminal or civil prosecution based on his testimony.

“We are also deeply concerned that other employees from Danske Bank may have also been required to sign nondisclosure agreements,” Kohn said. “Such agreements have a chilling effect on other witnesses.”

Kohn urged Denmark to enact legislation to protect whistle-blowers and said it’s “unacceptable” that Wilkinson may face further retaliation based on his testimony.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.