Danske Bank

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Danske Bank A/S
Traded asNasdaq CopenhagenDANSKE
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1871; 147 years ago (1871)
HeadquartersCopenhagen, Denmark
Key people
Ole Andersen (Chairman),
ProductsBanking, insurance, investment management
RevenueDKK 47.959 billion (2016)[1]
DKK 19.858 billion (2016)[1]
Total assetsDKK 3,483.670 billion (end 2016)[1]
Total equityDKK 152.272 billion (end 2016)[1]
Number of employees
19,303 (FTE, end 2016)[1]

Danske Bank A/S is a Danish bank. It was founded 5 October 1871 as Den Danske Landmandsbank, Hypothek- og Vexelbank i København (The Danish Farmers' Bank, Mortgage and Exchange Bank of Copenhagen). Headquartered in Copenhagen, it is the largest bank in Denmark and a major retail bank in the northern European region with over 5 million retail customers.[2] Danske Bank was number 454 on the Fortune Global 500 list for 2011.[3]

Authorities in Denmark, Estonia, France, and the United Kingdom have launched investigations related to large-scale money laundering through Danske Bank. In 2018 the bank also faced a criminal investigation from the United States Department of Justice into the affair that saw €200bn of non-resident money flow through its branch in Estonia, which was under the supervision of the Financial Supervisory Authority of Denmark[4], from 2007 until 2015. [5]


Danske Bank's headquarters in Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen.

The Danske Bank group operates a number of local banks around the Nordic Region as well as across Ireland.[6]


Lithuania's Danske Bank headquarters in Vilnius in Lithuania

The Danske Bank branches in Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) began operating in 2008 after Finnish Sampo Bank was acquired by Danske Bank Group in 2007 for €4.05 billion. In 2018 April Danske Bank announced that it would leave the Lithuanian banking market.

In October 2017, Danske Bank confirmed that French authorities were investigating the bank's involvement in money laundering.[7] On 31 July 2018, Estonia's prosecutor general, Lavly Perling, opened a criminal investigation following allegations that the bank had facilitated large-scale money laundering through its Estonian branch.[8][9] On 19 September 2018, Danske Bank confirmed that Thomas Borgen, CEO of the bank, would resign due to the money laundering scandal.[10] In September, Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority reopened its investigation of the bank,[11] and the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency announced that it was investigating the use of UK-registered companies.[12] In October, the bank confirmed that the United States Department of Justice had also launched a criminal investigation.[13]


Danske Bank, formerly Sampo Bank, is Danske Bank's Finnish operations. Sampo Bank was acquired by the Danske Bank Group in 2007. Sampo Bank traces its origins back to 1887, Originally the Finnish state-owned Post and Savings Bank, which accepted deposits from the public at its post offices. In 1999, the state-owned bank was merged with Sampo PLC's insurance business to form the Sampo Group. The banking unit was later acquired by Danske Bank in 2007, while the Sampo Group retained the insurance business.[14]

A Sampo bank in Tapiola in Finland


Northern Ireland[edit]

Danske Bank's Northern Irish subsidiary was founded as the Northern Banking Partnership in Belfast in 1809. It became Northern Bank in 1970, after merging with the Belfast Banking Company. Northern Bank was one of the Big Four banks in Ireland.[15] Danske Bank bought the bank from National Australia Bank in December 2004, and Northern Bank continued to operate under its own name until it took on the name of its parent company as its trading name in November 2012.[16] The bank is considered one of the leading retail banks in Northern Ireland with 44 branches and three business centres.[17] Danske Bank is one of the four commercial banks in Northern Ireland which are permitted to issue their own banknotes.[18]

Republic of Ireland[edit]

Danske Bank's Irish subsidiary was formerly known as the National Irish Bank, and was originally the Republic of Ireland branch network of Northern Bank, one of the oldest banks in Ireland (dating back to 1824). National Irish Bank was created as a separate entity in 1986, at first under the name Northern Bank (Ireland) Limited, when its then owners, UK-based Midland Bank, separated Northern Bank's operations in the Republic of Ireland from its Northern Ireland business.

In 1987, both banks were acquired by National Australia Bank (along with Midland Bank's Scottish subsidiary, Clydesdale Bank). In 1988 the Republic of Ireland operation was renamed National Irish Bank Limited whilst Northern Bank Limited remained the name of the Northern Ireland operation. Nonetheless, a single management team continued to run both banks, which shared many services and back office functions. During this era, the logo of the National Irish Bank was that of the National Australia Bank (at the time), except that the red star had been recoloured green, and "Irish Bank" was added alongside the word "National". The original Northern Bank (Ireland) logo had been the Midland Bank griffin.

On 10 May 2012, Danske Bank announced that Northern Bank and National Irish Bank would be merged on 1 June 2012, under the Northern Bank management team and the Danske Bank name, effectively reversing the separation between the two. The rebrand was completed on 18 November 2012.[19] At the time the bank closed its 27 branches to focus on corporate and private clients.

On 31 October 2013 Danske Bank announced it would be withdrawing all personal banking services in the Republic of Ireland on a phased basis in the first half of 2014.[20]


Danske Bank has set up its own captive technology centre in India called Danske IT and Support Services India Pvt Ltd.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Annual Results 2016" (PDF). Danske Bank. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Facts and figures". Danske Bank. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Fortune Global 500 (Denmark)". Fortune. 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ https://www.ft.com/content/519ad6ae-bcd8-11e8-94b2-17176fbf93f5
  6. ^ Danske Bank presentation of Sampo acquisition[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Jung, Eva; Lund, Michael; Bendtsen, Simon (13 October 2017). "Links to dead Russian lawyer behind French money laundering probe against Danske Bank". Berlingske.
  8. ^ Jensen, Teis (31 July 2018). "Estonia to investigate Danske Bank over money laundering allegations". Reuters.
  9. ^ "Bill Browder files criminal complaint against Danske Bank". ERR. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Danske Bank CEO resigns over money laundering scandal". Reuters. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  11. ^ Neate, Rupert; Rankin, Jennifer (20 September 2018). "Danske Bank money laundering 'is biggest scandal in Europe'". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Jensen, Teis; Barbaglia, Pamela (21 September 2018). "British inquiry widens Danske Bank money laundering scandal". Reuters.
  13. ^ Jensen, Teis (4 October 2018). "Danske Bank faces U.S criminal inquiry over suspicious Estonian accounts". Reuters.
  14. ^ "Juridiskām personām". www.sampobanka.lv.
  15. ^ "Banks in United Kingdom (UK or Britain)". ecbs.org. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  16. ^ "Hello Danske as a new era begins for Northern Bank" (Press release). Belfast: Danske Bank. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Patronage – Danske Bank". Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  18. ^ http://www.acbi.org.uk/faq.php
  19. ^ "Switch from National Irish Bank to Danske is completed". The Irish Times. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  20. ^ Danske Bank Ireland to cut 150 jobs, RTÉ, 31 October 2013
  21. ^ "Danske IT and Support Services India pvt ltd". www.danskeit.co.in.

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