DANSKE Bank has initiated a hiring freeze on non-critical positions in a bid to meet rising compliance costs related to its involvement in a money laundering scandal.
"The hiring freeze comes after we've seen higher compliance costs and costs related to our anti-money laundering efforts," a spokesperson for the Danish bank said.
"This is part of our ongoing focus on costs, as we, like all other banks, are challenged by low interest rates and low margins," he said.
The hiring freeze would not include critical positions such as regulatory jobs, the spokesman added.
He did not comment on how much the bank would save on the hiring freeze or how long it would be in place.
The bank said in February it would spend up to 2bn Danish crowns (£241.m) to step up anti-money laundering efforts, such as improving IT systems and hiring compliance staff, after the bank became embroiled in a major money laundering scandal.
It said last year it had channelled €200bn (£180bn) of payments through its Estonian office, many of which the bank said were suspicious.
The former head of Estonia's financial regulator recently hit out at Danish authorities for not having spotted the extent of the problem at Danske Bank.
"The Danish FSA [Financial Supervisory Authority] took a view that it is not a very serious problem, and the same applied to Danske's main office in Denmark," Raul Malmstein told the BBC's Today Programme.
Malmstein's comments were made shortly after Aivar Rehe, the former boss of Danske Bank in Estonia, was found dead near his home in Estonian capital Tallinn.
The bank was subsequently forced to close its Estonian branch in the wake of the scandal. Danish prosecutors filed four preliminary charges in November 2018.
As a consequence of the money laundering scandal, Danske Bank was named as 2018's most corrupted actor by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. a consortium of investigative centres in eastern Europe.
(c) 2019 City A.M., source Newspaper