Danske Bank Whistle-Blower's Identity Has Now Been Revealed

(Bloomberg) -- Berlingske, the Danish newspaper that first reported allegations that Danske Bank A/S was being used to launder billions of dollars in dirty money, revealed the identity of the whistle-blower who helped bring the case to the public’s attention.

His name is Howard Wilkinson, the newspaper said on Wednesday. From 2007 to 2014, he was in charge of trading at Danske Markets in the Baltics. Wilkinson agreed to come forward and confirm his identity, the newspaper said. He was employed at Danske until April 2014, which he says is four months after he provided his first whistle-blower report to the bank’s top management, according to Berlingske.

Danske Bank spokesman Kenni Leth declined to comment, when contacted by phone.

The Danske scandal has engulfed the bank and dominated the political debate in Denmark, where lawmakers have scrambled to enforce much tougher penalties for money laundering. The bank is now the target of multiple criminal investigations and faces hefty fines. Chief Executive Officer Thomas Borgen resigned this month and the board is looking for a successor.

In a report last week, Denmark’s biggest bank admitted that a large part of about $235 billion that flowed through an Estonian unit between 2007 and 2015 may have been laundered. European officials have referred to the case as one of the biggest scandals to hit the region.

Berlingske said it has been in contact with Wilkinson for several months in connection with the Danske case. He started sharing information with the newspaper after warning the bank’s management in Copenhagen of suspicious transactions at the Estonian unit. That information included details about companies that used fake accounts and that were allegedly linked to the Russian intelligence service and to the family of President Vladimir Putin, Berlingske said.

Wilkinson is now in contact with the Estonian authorities in connection with their investigation of the case, according to Berlingske.

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