(Reuters) – The money laundering scandal at Danske Bank A / S was deepened on Thursday when the Danish lender said it had received a request from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
To strengthen his defense, Danske, already under investigation in a number of countries, appointed former Dutch Finance Minister and former ABN Amro Bank NV CEO Gerrit Zalm to the Board.
In Denmark, Estonia, France and the UK, Danske is investigating over EUR 200 billion ($ 226 billion) in payments that have been shown to have flowed through its Estonian branch from Russia, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.
The secretariat is now conducting investigations and adding an ongoing criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice regarding any money laundering in the Danish Estonian branch.
The value of Denmark's largest bank has almost halved since last March, with investors affected by the threat with high fines. The news of a new investigation by the SEC pushed its shares down another 3.7% at 1
Shares in Swedbank AB have also stumbled during the last two sessions after Swedish television linked the bank to the Baltic charges of money laundering.  Danske will also propose Christian Sagild, former head of the Danish insurance company Topdanmark AS / ADR, to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on March 18.
Nomination of Zalm and Sagild to the Board is the first concrete step by Karsten Dybvad, who took over as chairman in December.
Mr. Dybvad, former head of the Danish corporate group and a former government official, has been assigned the task of appointing a new permanent CEO after Thomas Borgen resigned in September last year.
"We have no information about when the investigations are carried out by DoJ and the SEC is expected to be completed, and we do not know what the results will be," says interim manager Jesper Nielsen.
The new survey came just two days after Estonia's financial regulator took the unexpected step of requiring Danske to close its branch there and repay customers' deposits within eight months, which is considering the lender's plan to scale back but keep business in the country.