The Chief Executive of Danske Bank has resigned due to being named as a suspect in an investigation into anti money laundering (AML) legislation breaches at rival bank ABN Amro.

Chris Vogelzan informed the board he wished to resign as he felt speculation may hamper Danske Bank’s attempts to move on from its own much publicised laundering scandal involving a high volume of suspicious transactions through its Estonia branch.

Investigators have been probing alleged failures in transaction monitoring and reporting at ABN Amro since September 2019. Vogelzan held various positions at ABN Amro between 2000 and 2009 and was on the bank’s managing board between 2009 and 2016.

The bank said last month prosecutors now suspect “culpable money laundering” at the bank, although there has been no suggestion of any involvement by Vogelzan.

In a statement, Vogelzan said he was “very surprised to be named as a suspect”.

He said: “I left ABN AMRO more than four years ago and am comfortable with the fact that I managed my management responsibilities with integrity and dedication. My status as a suspect does not imply that I will be charged.

“However, given the special situation Danske Bank is in and the intense scrutiny the bank is under, particularly in relation to anti-money laundering as a consequence of the still unresolved Estonia matter, I do not want speculations about my person to get in the way of the continued development of Danske Bank.

“Therefore, I feel that the only right thing is for me to leave. I am very sad to leave Danske Bank, which is a great company with extremely competent people, and it has been a great honour for me to lead it”.

The bank has appointed Carsten Egeriis, who has served since 2017 as the bank’s Chief Risk Officer, as its new Chief Executive.

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