Finland-headquartered bank Nordea has been charged by Denmark's National Special Crime Unit (NSK) with AML failings on around €3.5bn of transactions from its Russian clients between 2012 and 2015.

The NSK said, “Nordea did not adequately investigate the bank’s Russian clients’ transactions and ignored warnings about foreign exchange transactions in Copenhagen.”

The indictment covers transactions totalling just over 26 billion krones (approximately €3.5bn).

The prosecutor’s office claimed this is the largest money-laundering case in Danish history.

Nordea said in a reaction statement on 5 July: "Following investigations conducted by the authorities into anti-money laundering controls in 2015 and earlier, the Danish National Special Crime Unit has announced that it will commence court proceedings and file a formal charge. Nordea does not agree with the legal assessment made by the authorities, a position supported by three separate external legal assessments, and maintains that the bank is adequately provisioned based on current circumstances.

"As previously disclosed, Nordea expects to be fined in Denmark for weak anti-money laundering processes and procedures in the past and has made a provision for ongoing anti-money laundering matters. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority investigated in 2015 whether Nordea Bank Danmark A/S had complied with applicable anti-money laundering regulations in terms of having adequate processes to identify and combat money laundering.

"The investigation led to orders by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority with no mention of specific money laundering, nor any findings related to intentional breaches of the applicable legislation, and no individuals were accused of any wrongdoing."

The bank's statement continued: "In June 2016 the matter was referred to the Danish Prosecution Service for further investigation in accordance with Danish practice.

"Today the National Special Crime Unit has announced that it will commence court proceedings against Nordea in Denmark in this previously disclosed anti-money laundering matter. Based on Nordea’s interpretation of Danish law, Nordea does not agree with the content of the charges nor the legal assessment.

"In Q1 2019 Nordea made a provision for anti-money laundering-related matters and has reviewed the provision level on an ongoing basis. Based on current circumstances, and supported by three separate external legal assessments, Nordea believes that the current provision is adequate to cover this matter.

Nordea further said it had "continuously sought a resolution": "Nordea has been working transparently with the Danish authorities for close to nine years and will await a decision by the courts.

"In recent years, Nordea has invested heavily in fighting money laundering and other financial crime and collaborates closely with the authorities to stop criminals and their activities."