Danske Bank ousts former interim CEO

Customers overcharged in what regulator calls ‘very serious’ case

Danske Bank has dismissed its former interim chief executive Jesper Nielsen. Photograph: Ints Kalnins

Danske Bank has dismissed its former interim chief executive Jesper Nielsen. Photograph: Ints Kalnins

 

Danske Bank has dismissed its former interim chief executive Jesper Nielsen after thousands of Danish customers were overcharged for an investment product, a first step by its new boss to restore trust in the troubled lender.

The case, which the Danish financial services authority called “very serious”, is another blow to the reputation of Denmark’s biggest bank, which is trying to limit the fallout from its involvement in a major money laundering scandal.

Both the FSA and the public prosecutors “are pursuing the possibility of penalising the bank”, the country’s acting business minister Rasmus Jarlov said on Facebook.

The dismissal of Mr Nielsen, who headed the bank’s domestic banking activities and served as interim CEO until the end of last month, was the first major change since Chris Vogelzang took charge at the start of June.

Danske is separately under investigation in the United States and several other countries for payments totalling €200 billion through its small Estonian branch, many of which the bank said were suspicious.

Danske will compensate around 87,000 customers who invested in the Flexinvest Fri product for a total of around 400 million Danish crowns ($61 million). Its shares traded 2.75 per centy lower by mid-afternoon and have lost around a fifth of their value this year. – Reuters