Danske Bank introduces negative interest rates on personal accounts

Denmark’s biggest lender Danske Bank is to introduce negative interest rates for certain private customers from June 1st.

Danske Bank introduces negative interest rates on personal accounts
Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

The terms of the negative interest rate will depend upon whether the customer uses Danske Bank for their primary personal bank account – which in the Danish context means the so-called NemKonto, used for things receiving wages and automatic payments to the state.

Customers with a Danske Bank NemKonto and at least 1.5 million kroner (200,000 euros) deposited with Danske Bank and customers without a Danske Bank NemKonto with more than 750,000 kroner (100,000 euros) saved with the bank will in future pay interest rates of negative 0.75 percent, the bank announced in a press statement on Thursday.

“We must accept that the unusually low interest rates and the negative interest rates will continue for several years to come,” Danske Bank's Head of Personal Banking Denmark, Thomas Mitchell, said in the statement.

“At the same time, we can see increased interest in placing money with us from customers with whom we do not otherwise have business. That is unsustainable in the long run, and we feel compelled to let the interest rates impact on very large deposits,” he said.

Danske Bank is to exempt various types of savings such as pensions, investments and child savings, from the measure.

Several other Danish banks, including Jyske Bank, Sydbank, Nordea and Nykredit previously introduced various types of negative interest rate.


All four lenders have an interest rate of minus 0.75 percent for deposits over 750,000 kroner.

More than 160,000 customers could be affected if all banks implement negative interest rates on customers with more than 750,000 kroner, according to the latest figures from Statistics Denmark, which are from 2017. However, this figure may be tempered by individuals who have money distributed between several banks.

Danske Bank estimates that the changes will affect one percent of their personal banking customers.

All of the banks have cited the generally low level of interest rates in Europe in implementing negative interest, resulting banks also having negative interest rates when they place money with Danmarks Nationalbank, the central bank in Denmark.

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Danish police drop money laundering case against Danske Bank directors

Denmark’s economic crime unit SØIK has dropped potential charges for money laundering against three leading former directors of Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, but investigation of the bank itself continues.

Danish police drop money laundering case against Danske Bank directors
File photo: Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The three directors, Thomas Borgen, Henrik Ramlau-Hansen and Lars Stensgaard Mørch were investigated in relation to a scandal involving large-scale money laundering at the Estonian division of the bank.

Each of the three confirmed to newspaper Børsen that charges have been dropped.

In a written statement to media, SØIK said it had not uncovered “evidence that any individual has shown negligence to such an extent that it can be characterised as gross” and that the law had therefore not been broken.

“For an individual to be convicted under money laundering laws, they must have committed gross negligence. In this case we have conducted a vert comprehensive and thorough investigation with a number of investigative steps,” acting head of SØIK Per Flig also said in the statement.

The bank itself is still under investigation for possible breach of money laundering laws, however, Flig noted.

READ ALSO: US files lawsuit against scandal-hit Danske Bank

No individuals now remain under suspicion in the investigation, meaning SØIK has dropped cases against all leading bank executive who were suspected by police in March 2019.

Around 1,500 billion kroner from foreign customers flowed through the Estonian division of Danske Bank between 2007 and 2015, an investigation found.

A large proportion of that money is considered to be suspicious. The scandal resulted in Borgen’s resignation as CEO and the bank closed its Estonian branch in 2019.

READ ALSO: More on the Danske Bank money laundering scandal