Danske Bank, which is claimed to be Denmark’s largest bank, has begun a hiring freeze to cope with increasing compliance costs.

The bank has been involved in a major money laundering scandal. In 2018, Danske Bank had channelled €200bn of payments via its Estonian office, most of which were said to be suspicious.

Earlier this year, the bank said it would invest about $295m to accelerate anti-money laundering efforts like enhancing IT systems and hiring compliance staff.

A spokesperson for the bank was quoted by Reuters as saying, “The hiring freeze comes after we’ve seen higher compliance costs and costs related to our anti-money laundering efforts.

“This is part of our ongoing focus on costs, as we, like all other banks, are challenged by low interest rates and low margins.”

In February 2019, Danske Bank decided to close down its operations in Russia and all Baltic States after Estonian authorities ordered it to cease banking operations in the country over money laundering charges.

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Dankse Bank, which employs 20,683 people, is present in 16 countries with 2.8 million personal and business customers.

In May 2019, Danske Bank’s board of directors has appointed Chris Vogelzang as new CEO.

From 2000 to 2017, Vogelzang held various positions at the Dutch bank ABN AMRO.