Danske Bank



Financial Services




Erichsen’s Palace

Facade, Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen


TEL: +45 33 44 00 00 


EMAIL: danskebank@danskebank.dk




Top 100 Banks in the World #59, 2020 – ADV Ratings




Erik Eliasson



  • ’Best Open Banking Initiative’ by Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards
  • ‘Best Use of Mobile’ at the European Customer Centricity Awards 2020 


  • Business in the Community’s 2019 Responsible Business Awards –  Diversity and Inclusion, Wellbeing at Work and Responsible Digital Innovation, NI Responsible Company of the Year 2019



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Kavita Kripalani

Danske Bank

SECTIONS :  Sustainability Targets    Evaluation  •  Key Points  •  Overview

Company Activity

Danske Bank was founded by Gottlieb Hartvig Abrahamsson Gedalia on 5 October 1871, and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The company engages in the provision of services in the fields of banking, mortgage finance, insurance, pension, real estate brokerage, asset management, and trading in fixed income products, foreign exchange, and equities. It operates through the following segments: Banking DK, Banking Nordic, Corporates & Institutions, Wealth Management, Northern Ireland, Non-Core, and Other Activities. 

The Banking DK segment offers daily banking, home financing, investment, and retirement planning solutions. The Banking Nordic segment encompasses global asset finance activities, such as lease activities. The Corporate & Institution segment provides wholesale banking services for institutional and corporate customers involving cash management services, trade finance solutions, custody services, foreign exchange and derivatives products, corporate finance, and acquisition finance. 

The Wealth Management segment encompasses expertise from Danica Pension, Danske Capital, and Private Banking. The Northern Ireland segment serves personal and business customers through a network of branches in Northern Ireland and digital channels. The Non-core segment includes certain customer segments that are no longer considered part of the core business. The Other Activities segment encompasses group treasury, and group support functions and eliminations.

Company Sustainability Activity

As one of the largest financial institutions in the Nordic countries, Danske Bank has both the ability and the determination to be part of finding solutions to the challenges the planet and societies are facing.

Danske Bank is committed to creating sustainable progress and believes that including sustainability in all aspects of their business is fundamental to create lasting value for all their stakeholders. 


The Corporation plans to focus its CSR initiatives and adopt a structured approach to the following core areas of intervention:


  • Primary and secondary education
  • Formal and non-formal literacy programmes
  • Scholarships
  • Digital literacy initiatives
  • Teachers training & skill upgradation
  • Vocational training and other holistic education initiatives for rural & urban youth


  • Affordable healthcare, including awareness & preventive programmes for various communicable & non-communicable diseases
  • Public & community health initiatives for the underprivileged sections of society
  • Addressing malnutrition amongst women & children
  • Provision of clean & safe drinking water to communities etc

Skilling & Livelihood

  • Women
  • Unemployed / dropout youth
  • Rural youth for sustainable livelihood initiatives by assisting such persons with skill training (technical and non-technical)
  • Vocational and life skills training to enable them to
  • Generate livelihoods and in turn contribute to the economy

Water Conservation

  • Experienced grassroots level organisations and technical consultants for watershed management structures to be constructed across drought-prone areas in the country including capacity building & training programmes for local communities in such areas to ensure long term water security


  • This would include partnerships with organisations having domain expertise in the field of providing comprehensive sanitation programmes in schools, urban slums, and rural areas involving behavioral change & awareness towards hygiene and sanitation habits

Support to the Differently abled

  • Special education
  • Vocational training 
  • Rehabilitation of physically and mentally challenged people to make them economically independent and contributing members of society


2023 targets

  • Sustainable finance: Increase volume of sustainable finance to 1more than DKK 100 billion in sustainable financing including granted green loans and arranged bonds as well as DKK 30 billion investments in the green transition by Danica Pension 
  • Set a climate target for corporate loan portfolio in alignment with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • Entrepreneurship: 10,000 start-ups and scale-ups supported with growth and impact tools, services and expertise 
  • Financial confidence: 2 million people supported with financial literacy tools and expertise 
  • Governance & integrity: Over 95% of employees trained annually in risk and compliance 
  • Employee well-being & diversity: More than 35% share of women in senior leadership positions
  • Environmental footprint: Reducing CO2 emissions by 75% from 2010 and 10% from 2019


2020 Status

  • Sustainable financing: DKK 102 billion since 2019 Investing in the green transition, DKK 27 billion since 2019 23% of corporate loan portfolio mapped for climate impact
  • Entrepreneurship: 5,065 start-ups and scale-ups supported since 2016 
  • Financial confidence: 1,154,913 people supported since 2018
  • Governance & integrity: 95% of employees trained 
  • Employee well-being & diversity: 28% share of women in senior leadership positions 
  • Environmental footprint: 86% CO2 emissions reduction since 2010 and 48% since 2019


  • LuxFLAG sustainable finance label
  • All electricity used by Danske Bank comes from renewable sources certified by Guarantees of Origin and International Renewable Energy Certificates
  • LEED Gold – the Pasila building

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 4: Quality Education

  • Financial confidence – By fostering financial confidence and sound financial practices among the next generation, they can support their financial literacy and enhance their value propositions towards these customer segments.

SDG 5: Gender Equality

  • Employee well-being & diversity – By focusing on their employees’ well-being and diversity, they support healthy and inclusive workplaces and they can strengthen employee engagement, while also improving efficiency, enhancing their talent pool, and lowering hiring costs.

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • Entrepreneurship – By enabling and supporting entrepreneurship, they can support growth and positive impact, attract new customers and also strengthen their value propositions for existing customers.

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • Sustainable finance – Through sustainable financing and investing, they can address society’s needs while supporting their customers, mitigating ESG risks and avoiding stranded assets.
  • Minimising their use of resources and minimising their environmental footprint also enhances cost efficiency.

 SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

  • Governance & integrity – By fighting financial crime and promoting responsibility and sustainability in the value chain, they can exert significant societal impact.
  • In all aspects of their business operations, governance and integrity are fundamental to rebuilding trust and avoiding financial losses.


Danske Bank produces a detailed outline of its sustainability initiatives. The company does a good job of presenting its targets, progress, and alignment with UN SDGs in a clear manner. 

Danske Bank has been under investigation in Denmark and several countries over some 200 billion euros ($242 billion) of suspicious transactions that passed through the bank’s Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015. This corruption of such a gargantuan scale simply cannot be overlooked. 

With that being said, they seem to be picking up steam through their green bonds initiative and alignment with UN SDGs.  

To this day, the company continues to experience repercussions of its fraudulent behavior. These consequences reflect the magnitude of their wrongdoing, bringing their credibility into question. They still have a long way to go. 

In addition, the bank is involved with the fossil fuel industry, having invested $5.813 B into the industry since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Despite this, they are on the right track towards sustainability by decreasing their investments in 2020.

Therefore, this company has been rated a C. 

Analyst Outlook: Negative

If it weren’t for their recent attempts to appear proactive in sustainability, the company would have received a lower rating. Although the bank seems to be putting in the necessary work to redeem its corrupt reputation, it remains to be seen if these efforts are legitimate and sustained. 

Key Points

  • They achieved a CDP rating of “B” for Climate Change 2020.
  • The Danske Bank money laundering scandal arose in 2017-2018 around €200 billion of suspicious transactions that flowed from Estonian, Russian, Latvian and other sources through the Estonia-based bank branch of Denmark-based Danske Bank from 2007 to 2015.
  • It has been described as possibly the largest money-laundering scandal ever in Europe, and as possibly the largest in world history,
  • It includes incoming funds from Estonia (23%), Russia (23%), Latvia (12%), Cyprus (9%), UK (4%) and others (30%), more than 150 countries each of which account for a smaller part than the UK).
  • Outgoing funds were distributed between Estonia (15%), Latvia (14%), China (7%), Switzerland (6%), Turkey (6%) and others (52%).
  • In 2019, Danske Bank entered an exclusive partnership with Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), the leading international not-for-profit organisation that works to promote investment in projects and assets that can enable the transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy.
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