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Money laundering scandal costs trust amongst Danske Bank customers

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Money laundering scandal costs trust amongst Danske Bank customers
File photo: Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/Ritzau Scanpix
15:13 CET+01:00
A scandal involving the laundering of millions of kroner via Danske Bank’s Estonian branch has led to an investigation in several countries as well as massive criticism from politicians and authorities.

The case has also caused a notable fall in customer satisfaction with the bank, an analysis has found.

A survey carried out by Voxmeter, who interviewed more than 50,000 customers in Denmark on their view of their primary bank in 2018, showed a drop in confidence in Danske, Denmark’s biggest lender.

The questions asked touched upon customer satisfaction with products, image and service.

Danske Bank scraped the bottom of the barrel, with its 4,712 points representing a steep slide down the list from last year, a decrease of 1,161 points.

“This is significant and is mainly due to poor image and lack of confidence in the bank’s ethical standards,” said Christian Stjer, CEO of Voxmeter.

Danske Bank’s manager for private customers Thomas Mitchell expressed his regret at the survey result.

“We can also see that customer satisfaction has taken a marked dip, especially over the summer in relation with the increased debate around this case. We are very sorry about this,” Mitchell said.

Danske Bank has apologized for offenses in Estonia and acknowledged that the bank has failed in its responsibility on all fronts. The bank now faces the uphill task of convincing customers that the necessary measures have been taken to correct its transgressions, Mitchell said.

“Something have spent a lot of energy on at our Danish branches is to go out and meet customers and invite them to what we call dialogue meetings about the Estonia case,” he said.

According to the Danske Bank manager, all customers receive an invitation to visit their local branch to get answers to any questions they may have regarding the money laundering case.

That measure aims to ensure that Danske Bank does not experience a massive customer loss such as in 2012-13, where around 100,000 customers left, partly due to the introduction of a fee for regular accounts.

Danske Bank lost 2,500 customers in the third-quarter of 2018.

Since then, customer loss has increased, Mitchell said, adding that he could not go into further detail before the bank issues its annual results on 1st February.

The top scoring bank in Voxmeter’s survey was Arbejdernes Landsbank, with a score of 7,618 points out of a possible 11, 000.

Arbejdernes Landsbank has taken first place in 10 of the 11 years that Voxmeter has conducted the survey.

READ MORE: The Local’s coverage of the Danske Bank money laundering case

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