Frances Schwartzkopff and Joost Akkermans, 19 April 2021
Danske Bank A/S is replacing Chris Vogelzang as chief executive officer after a Dutch money-laundering investigation implicated the former ABN Amro Bank NV executive, complicating the Danish lender’s efforts to get past its own scandal.
Vogelzang, who had run Denmark’s biggest bank for less than two years, will be replaced by Danske’s head of risk management, Carsten Egeriis. The move comes after authorities in the Netherlands named Vogelzang “a suspect in connection with their investigations of potential violations of Dutch legislation relating to the prevention of money laundering at ABN Amro,” Danske said.
“I am very surprised by the decision by the Dutch authorities,” Vogelzang said in the statement. “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.”
Danske is itself the subject of multiple investigations into money laundering in both the U.S. and Europe, resulting in several top executive departures in recent years. Vogelzang came on board in 2019 to help the bank clean up its act and rehabilitate its image as a law-abiding, transparent institution. Fellow Dutchman Ralph Hamers, the CEO of UBS Group AG, also faces a lengthy Dutch legal battle over his role in a money laundering scandal during his time as head of ING Groep NV.