Government says top bank DNB must explain Seychelles policy

The Norwegian government is the bank's top owner with a stake of 34 percent.

People leave DNB bank's local office in Riga November 20, 2013.    REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Norway's biggest bank DNB must provide a written explanation of its policy of helping clients set up offshore companies in the Seychelles, the Norwegian industry minister said in a statement on Monday.

"DNB says this should not have happened and that the bank should not have participated. That I agree to," Trade and Industry Minister Monica Maeland said.

The Norwegian government is the bank's top owner with a stake of 34 percent. DNB's Seychelles activities were first reported by daily Aftenposten, quoting leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The leak involves more than 11.5 million documents from the files of the law firm, revealing details of hundreds of thousands of clients in multiple jurisdictions.

DNB said in a separate statement it regretted assisting about 40 customers in setting up the firms between 2006 and 2010, and that the practice had ended.

"It's the customers' responsibility to report their own funds to tax authorities. Still, we believe we should not have contributed to establishing these companies," Chief Executive Rune Bjerke said, referring to the Seychelles firms.

"The structures could be abused for tax evasion," the CEO added.

Bjerke said an internal investigation would be conducted and he would later give a briefing to the bank's board.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

2023: Sani picks El-Rufai’s deputy, Balarabe, as running mate

2023: Sani picks El-Rufai’s deputy, Balarabe, as running mate

Lagos residents consume N4.5bn food daily – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos residents consume N4.5bn food daily – Sanwo-Olu

Fayemi swears in Agbede as new Head of Service

Fayemi swears in Agbede as new Head of Service

Ebonyi PDP suspends chairman over alleged misconduct

Ebonyi PDP suspends chairman over alleged misconduct

Govs. Sanwo-Olu, Ganduje storm Osun for Oyetola’s re-election campaign

Govs. Sanwo-Olu, Ganduje storm Osun for Oyetola’s re-election campaign

PDP crisis deepens as Wike reportedly refuses to meet Atiku's emissaries

PDP crisis deepens as Wike reportedly refuses to meet Atiku's emissaries

Lagos Govt shuts Redeemer’s school over death of 5-yr-old pupil

Lagos Govt shuts Redeemer’s school over death of 5-yr-old pupil

After alleged conversion of Almajiris, gunmen kidnap wife of ECWA Pastor in Plateau

After alleged conversion of Almajiris, gunmen kidnap wife of ECWA Pastor in Plateau

Group says Northern Govs prefers Lalong as VP to Tinubu

Group says Northern Govs prefers Lalong as VP to Tinubu