Sant: Brussels turns blind eye to Deutsche Bank, Danske Bank scandals

Labour MEP says Commissioner Vera Jourova targets relatively minor Maltese financial sector but not German or Danish banking systems

European Commissioner Vera Jourova
European Commissioner Vera Jourova

The European Commission has declined to comment on statements by Labour MEP Alfred Sant that Brussels was turning a blind eye to financial crimes being committed by bigger European banks.

Sant singled out European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova, saying she never mentions banking giants that have been involved in money laundering scandals, such as Deutsche Bank, but chooses instead to focus on small banks based in places like Malta – a reference to Pilatus Bank in Malta.

The European Central Bank withdrew the Maltese-based Pilatus Bank’s licence following allegations of money laundering and the US arrest of its founder for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.

“Doesn’t it sound curious that you suddenly start talking about a very small bank in a very small country and not about Deutsche Bank and Danske Bank. Let us also focus on the big fish, the big fish haven’t been mentioned by Madam Jourova for instance,” Sant told France24 in a debate with French Green MEP Eva Joly.

“It’s not a question of mentioning or not mentioning scandals when they happen,” Sant later told financial website KYC360. “It’s a question of launching investigations with much PR into systemic abuses on a European scale and the equivalent. Ms Jourova did it very happily and with full publicity, for the relatively minor case of Pilatus Bank in Malta as well as the relatively minor Maltese financial sector, but hardly did likewise – not just ‘mentioning’ – in the cases of Danske, Deutsche etc,” Sant said.

Both Deutsche and Danske banks have been mired in their own money laundering scandals. Last year the former agreed to pay British and American authorities €620 million in penalties. Danske Bank recently said that its Estonian branch had processed around €200 billion in suspicious funds over a number of years, much of which is thought to have been laundered.

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