The Danish banking sector is highly concentrated with four dominant market players: Danske Bank, Nykredit, Nordea and Jyske Bank. There are more than 70 banks in Denmark including seven mortgage banks and 27 foreign banks. Not all banks offer online banking in English. Central bank of Denmark (or Danmarks Nationalbank), incorporated in 1936, is responsible for stable financial system and safe payments in the country. The Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) is responsible for supervision and regulation of banking industry. The large Danish banks are rated by international agencies. Below is a list of the largest and best banks in Denmark.
Danske Bank Group is the largest bank in Denmark with total assets of $558 billion and deposits of $137 billion at March 2019. Net profit and total income reached $2.3 billion and $6.7 billion in 2018. The company operates via the following business lines: Banking DK, Banking Nordic, Corporates and Institutions, Wealth management, Northern Ireland and Non-core unit. With presence in 16 countries, it serves over 2.8 million personal, business and institutional customers through 234 branches. The Group is located in Copenhagen and employs 20,978 full time equivalent staff. As of January 27, 2020, Danske Bank had a market capitalization of US$13.5 billion.
Nykredit A/S is the second largest bank in Denmark in terms of total assets. It is also the largest lender in the country with a market share of over 30% and the leading mortgage lender with a market share of 41%. The company operates through the following subsidiaries: Nykredit Realkredit, Totalkredit, Nykredit Bank, Nykredit Mægler and Nykredit Ejendomme. In 2018, the Group’s profit before tax reached US$1.1 billion, total assets amounted to US$222 billion and mortgage loans at fair value were US$183 billion. Nykredit Bank enjoys strong credit ratings of A/A-1 from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Jyske Bank A/S is the third largest Danish bank with total assets of US$94 billion and mortgage loans of US$50 billion as of March 2019. Profit aftex tax reached DKK 1.1 billion in the first half of 2019. With 3,770 employees, the company provides products and services through 99 branches in Denmark, branch in Hamburg and subsidiaries in Gibraltar. Jyske Bank (Gibraltar) Ltd, Private Banking Hamburg and Private Banking Copenhagen are members of the Jyske Bank Group. The company was established in 1967 and is headquartered in Silkeborg.
Nordea has a strong presence in the Danish market with 1.7 million household customers (market position N2) and 65,000 corporate and institutional clients. Nordea Kredit Realkreditaktieselskab, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nordea Bank Abp, provides mortgage lending in Denmark. As of September 2018, mortgage loan portfolio amounted to DKK 387 billion.
DLR Kredit (mortgage bank)
DLR Kredit A/S is a specialized mortgage credit institution focusing on mortgage lending services for agricultural and urban trade properties in Denmark. The company is owned by 58 Danish local and regional financial institutions and by Nykredit Realkredit and Pras. DLR Kredit’s primarily shareholders include members of Lokale Pengeinstitutter and Landsdækkende Banker. DLR has no branches and mortgage products are distributed through the networks of owner banks. The company continues to enjoy strong long-term credit rating (ICR) of A- from Standard & Poor’s. At the end of September 2018, total assets and mortgage loans at fair value amounted to US$24.7 billion and US$22.8 billion.
Sydbank A/S, headquartered in Aabenraa, is one of the top 10 banks in Denmark. It provides a complete range of products and services for retail and corporate customers with focus on private individuals and small and medium-sized companies. With over 2,100 employees, it operates a network of over 100 domestic branches and three branches in Germany. The company’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ Copenhagen Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of US$1.2 billion as of December 6, 2019. Sydbank was formed in 1970 through the merger of local banks in Southern Jutland.
Spar Nord Bank
Spar Nord Bank A/S, based in Aalborg, North Jutland region, focuses on SMEs and household customers in the local communities. It operates through 49 branches (local banks) and employs over 1,520 staff, 1,040 of whom work at the local banks. All major Danish cities and towns have a Spar Nord branch. With national market share of 4% and North Jutland market share of 32%, the company offers deposit and lending products, life and general insurance, credit cards, pensions, leasing, trading and financial market services, investments, internet banking and more. Spar Nord Foundation is the company’s largest shareholder holding about 20 percent of the share capital.
Arbejdernes Landsbank is one of the largest retail banks in Denmark. With over 23,000 private shareholders and workforce of 1,100 employees, the company serves 270,000 clients through 71 branches across the nation. AL Finans, specializing in factoring, leasing and car financing, is a subsidiary of Arbejdernes Landsbank. For the first half of 2018, the company reported profit after tax of US$37.5 million, total assets of US$7.75 billion, loans of US$3.5 billion and deposits of US$6.1 billion.
Ringkjøbing Landbobank A/S is a regional and niche bank with main operations in central and west Jutland. It is the most popular Danish bank based on customer reviews. Nordea is the worst bank in Denmark, according to a Voxmeter survey of about 40,000 customers. The Bank’s two major shareholders are UK-based Parvus Asset Management Europe and ATP, a Danish investor and pension provider. Landbobank operates over 10 well-established branches in the following cities: Herning, Holstebro, Hvide Sande, Tarm, Viborg, Vildbjerg, Holte, Ringkøbing, Vejle, and Aarhus. In 2018, Danish FSA has approved the merger of Ringkjøbing Landbobank A/S and Nordjyske Bank A/S.
Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Copenhagen, is an investment bank engaged in multi-asset trading and investment. With over 1,600 employees, it has offices in 16 countries including UK, France, Japan, Singapore, China, UAE and Switzerland. Over 35,000 financial instruments are available on Saxo Bank’s platforms. Clients have access to Stocks, Bonds, CFDs, Forex, Futures, ETFs, and Options. Geely Financials Denmark owns 52% of Saxo Bank’s shares and CEO Kim Fournais owns about 26% of shares.
Headquartered in Randers, it is the largest savings bank in Denmark with more 135,000 customers and 650 employees. Sparekassen Kronjylland is one of best financial institutions in the Danish banking industry based on capital, liquidity and credit quality. Founded in 1829, it is the oldest savings bank in Denmark and is the only bank in many small towns. In July 2018, a new branch was opened in Aalborg.
Vestjysk Bank is a customer-focused bank serving retail and business clients via a branch network in selected locations in Jutland. It operates through four segments: business banking, retail banking, markets and an agricultural center. With over 400 FTE employees, it offers traditional banking products and services including savings, pensions, lending, credit and debit cards, personal and mortgage loans, investments, insurance services and more. At the end of 2018, the company had US$3.2 billion in total assets and US$2.69 billion in deposits (including pooled schemes).
Related articles: Foreign Banks in Denmark
Top 10 Banks in Denmark
The table shows the 10 largest Danish banks ranked by total assets in billions of U.S. dollars.
|Rank||Bank||Total Assets, US$b||Balance Sheet|
|3||Nordea Denmark *||190.977||12/2018|
|7||Spar Nord Bank||13.605||06/2019|
* Nordea Denmark is a division of Nordea Bank plc, Finland.