Danske Bank A/S is a Danish bank. It was founded 5 October 1871 as Den Danske Landmandsbank, Hypothek- og Vexelbank i Kjøbenhavn (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. Danske Bank was number 454 on the Fortune Global 500 list for 2011.
Danske Bank's headquarters in Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen
|Traded as||Nasdaq Copenhagen: DANSKE|
|Chris Vogelzang (CEO), Karsten Dybvad (Board of Directors' Chairman),|
|Products||Banking, insurance, investment management|
|Revenue||DKK 10,802 billion (Q1 2019)|
|DKK 2,988 billion (Q1 2019)|
|Total assets||DKK 3.714 billion (Q1 2019)|
|Total equity||DKK 158,577 billion (Q1 2019)|
|Owner||APMH Invest |
Number of employees
|20.978 (FTE, Q1 2019)|
The Danske Bank group operates a number of local banks around the Nordic Region as well as across Ireland.
The Danske Bank branches in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as also in Russia began operating in 2008 after Finnish Sampo Bank was acquired by Danske Bank Group in 2007 for €4.05 billion. In February 2019 Danske Bank announced that it will cease all its banking activities in the Baltic countries and Russia.
Origins of Danske Bank in Estonia traces back to 1992 when Eesti Forekspank was established. In 1995, Raepank merged with . In 1998, Eesti Forekspank merged with Eesti Investeerimispank (EstIB) to create Optiva Bank. In 2000, Optiva was acquired by Finnish Sampo Bank and Optiva was accordingly renamed Sampo Pank. In 2007, when Danske Bank acquired Sampo's banking business, Sampo Pank became a branch of Danske Bank.
In 2014, The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority found "large-scale, long-lasting systemic violations of anti-money laundering rules" in the Estonian branch of Danske Bank and notified the Danish authorities on the findings. According to the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority, the activities decreased after they requested the bank to target the violations. In October 2017, Danske Bank confirmed that French authorities were investigating the bank's involvement in money laundering. 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. On 19 September 2018, Danske Bank confirmed that Thomas Borgen, CEO of the bank, would resign due to the money laundering scandal. In September, Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority reopened its investigation of the bank, and the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency announced that it was investigating the use of UK-registered companies. In October, the bank confirmed that the United States Department of Justice had also launched a criminal investigation.
In November, Danish prosecutors filed four preliminary charges against the bank. In February 2019, the Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority ordered the bank to cease its operations in the country within 8 months. In February 2019 Danske announced that it will cease its banking operations in Estonia. In October 2019, the bank closed down all its banking activities in Estonia.
Danske Bank, formerly Sampo Bank, is Danske Bank's Finnish operations. Danske Bank Finland traces its origins back to 1887, to Postisäästöpankki (meaning Postal Savings Bank), a bank associated with the national post office, which accepted deposits from the public at post offices. In 1970, the company was renamed Postipankki. In 1988, the bank became a full-service bank. It was organized as a state-owned limited company. In 1997, the company merged with Suomen Vientiluotto (Finnish Export Credit) to form Leonia Pankki. Leonia Pankki was merged with Sampo Insurance in 1999, and in 2001 was renamed Sampo Pankki. At the same year, Mandatum Bank merged with Sampo. Mandatum was created in 1998 as by a merger of Interbank Osakepankki, established in 1988, and Mandatum & Co., established in 1992. In 2007, there was a demerger: Danske Bank acquired Sampo's banking business while Sampo Group retained its insurance business. The purchase of Sampo Pankki by Danske Bank with €4 billion was the largest purchase in cash to date in Finland.
Republic of Ireland
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 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. At the time the bank closed its 27 branches to focus on corporate and private clients.
Origins of Danske Bank in Latvia traces back to 1996 when Maras banka was established. Maras was acquired by Sampo in 2004, and after acquisition of Sampa Bank by Danske, Sampo banka became a branch of Danske Bank. In February 2019 Danske announced that it will cease its banking operations in Latvia.
Origins of Danske Bank in Lithuania traces back to 1994 when Lietuvos Vystymo bankas (Lithuanian Development Bank) was established. Lietuvos Vystymo bankas was acquired by Sampo in 2000, and after acquisition of Sampa Bank by Danske, Sampo bankas became a branch of Danske Bank.
In 2015 Danske Bank established an IT service centre for its group of companies, Danske Group IT Lietuva (DGITL), in Vilnius. During the past years, Danske Bank has employed more than 2,300 employees in Lithuania. In 2019, Danske Bank announced its intentions of ceasing all banking operations in Lithuania, but keeping the local back-office active for internal activities.
Origins of Danske Bank in Russia traces back to Industry and Finance Bank (Profibank) was acquired by Sampo in 2006. after acquisition of Sampa Bank by Danske, it became a branch of Danske Bank. In February 2019 Danske announced that it will cease its banking operations in Russia.
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
Danske Bank's Northern Irish subsidiary Danske Bank UK 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. 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. The bank is considered one of the leading retail banks in Northern Ireland with 44 branches and three business centres. Danske Bank is one of the four commercial banks in Northern Ireland which are permitted to issue their own banknotes.
Money laundering scandal
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 (due to location of headquarter) and the Financial Supervisory Authority of Estonia (due to location of branch). Danish prosecutors filed four preliminary charges in November 2018. As a consequence of the money laundering scandal Danske Bank was named as 2018's most corrupted actor by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
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