Danske chairman to resign as investor forces board meeting at scandal-prone bank

A money-laundering scandal at Danske Bank has claimed the jobs of its chairman Ole Andersen (right) and chief executive Thomas Borgen (left) (Source: Getty)

Scandal-prone Danske Bank’s main shareholder has nominated two directors to the board as under-fire chairman Ole Andersen prepares to resign.

Ole Andersen, who said in September he was looking to leave the role, will step down alongside chair of the audit committee Jorn Jensen at a special meeting in two weeks.

AP Moller Holding, the bank’s largest owner, has proposed its own chief investment officer Jan Nielsen, and head of the Confederation of Danish Industry Karsten Dybvad, to fill the vacant seats. Both are expected to be confirmed.

The investor, controlled by the family behind shipping giant Maersk, forced the meeting after months of scandal at the bank.

The company is being probed by regulators in Denmark, Estonia and the US over potential money laundering in its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

The scandal has already claimed the scalp of Danske’s chief executive Thomas Borgen, who used to be in charge of its international operations.

Authorities suspect the bank of failings over €200bn (£175bn) which flowed through its Estonian branch.

Danske has reported most of the 6,200 customers in its so-called non-resident portfolio.

The bank last week showed a 42 per cent drop in profit before tax after it promised to donate the 1.5bn Danish krone (£175m) it made from the Estonian business.

Chairman Ole Andersen said: “In the light of the bank’s situation, the members of the board of directors and I share AP Moller Holding’s view that there is a need to clarify the future leadership and composition of the board of directors as soon as possible.

“The board of directors fully supports both proposed candidates who based on their individual competencies and experience will be able to contribute considerably to the further development of the bank, including the particularly important task of recovering the confidence of all the bank’s stakeholders.”

Shares in the bank rose around one per cent to 134 Danish krone following news of the meeting.