The Danish banking sector is characterized by many small institutions and a few international groups. As of 2020, there are 160 banks incorporated in Denmark.
Structure of Banks in Denmark
Denmark’s banking sector is relatively large. Based on the ratio of consolidated banking assets to GDP, the sector is three times bigger than the national economy. Domestic banks in Denmark hold 87.52% of the industry’s total assets, while foreign banks hold only 12.48%.
There is a high degree of concentration in the banking sector, with the three largest banks in Denmark – Danske Bank, Nykredit Realkredit, and Nykredit – controlling 50% of the total banking assets in the country.
Danish Banks can be classified into:
These are banks that undertake activities that are important for the overall Danish economy. They are identified at group level every year. A bank is considered as systemically important if at least one of the following criteria is met for two consecutive years:
Size of the balance sheet as a percentage of GDP is greater than 6.5%
Loans of the bank as a percentage of total sector lending is greater than 5%
Total deposits of the bank as a percentage of total sector deposits is greater than 5%
Mortgage banks are specialized banks in Denmark that provide loans that are secured by real estate properties. These banks do not accept deposits from the public and the loans are financed by mortgage-backed securities. At present, there are seven such banks operating in Denmark. The total assets of these mortgage banks are approximately equal to the total assets of systemic banks.
The Top Banks in Denmark are:
Danske Bank A/S
Established in 1871, Danske Bank is headquartered in Copenhagen. The bank employs around 22,000 staff and operates in 16 countries. Danske Bank currently serves 2.7 million personal customers, 236,000 small and medium enterprise customers, and 1,800 corporate and institutional customers.
It is one of the largest retail banks in Denmark, specializing in Banking Products, Insurance, Mortgage Finance, Real Estate Brokerage, Asset Management, Innovation, Private Banking, Corporate Banking, Personal Banking, Business Banking, Mobile Payments, Pension, Leasing, Property Financing, and Financial Services.
Net income: DKK 4.59 billion (2020)
Total assets: DKK 4.07 trillion (3/2021)
Nykredit Bank A/S
The bank was founded in 1851, making it one of the oldest banks in Denmark, and provides mortgages, retail, and investment banking services. It offers securities and derivatives trading, wealth and asset management, leasing, estate agency, insurance mediation services, pension products, and investment and debt management services. It also engages in the administration and management of investment funds.
The bank employs 3,799 staff and is headquartered in Copenhagen.
Net income: DKK 5.64 billion (2020)
Total assets: DKK 1.66 trillion (3/2021)
A/S Arbejdernes Landsbank
Headquartered in Copenhagen, the bank provides retail banking products and services to natural persons and legal entities that are based in Denmark. Founded in 1919, the bank employs 1,100 staff.
Net income: DKK 330.0 million (2020)
Total assets: DKK 62.7 billion (2020)
The bank was founded in 1967 and offers retail, private and corporate banking products and services to individuals and business customers. With 3,310 employees, it is headquartered in Silkeborg and is also present in France, Denmark, Gibraltar, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Net income: DKK 1.61 billion (2020)
Total assets: DKK 682.76 billion (3/2021)
Established in 1970, Sydbank offers private, commercial, and retail banking. The bank was formed as a result of the merger of four local banks in Denmark. Sydbank operates throughout Denmark, in northern Germany, and Switzerland. The bank employs 2,166 staff.
Net income: DKK 799.0 million (2020)
Total assets: DKK 164.8 billion (3/2021)
Nordea Kredit Realkreditaktieselskab
Nordea Kredit Realkreditaktieselskab is a subsidiary of Stockholm-based Nordea Bank AB. The bank provides mortgage loans. It employs 116 staff in Denmark and is headquartered in Copenhagen.
Net income: DKK 1.28 million (2020)
Total assets: DKK 467.9 trillion (2020)
DLR Kredit A/S
Founded in 1960, the bank provides mortgage lending services. The bank employs 234 staff and is headquartered in Copenhagen.
Net income: DKK 749.0 million (2020)
Total assets: DKK 182.0 billion (3/2021)
Spar Nord Bank A/S
Another of the oldest banks in Denmark, Spar Nord was established in 1824 and offers retail banking products and services to individuals and SMEs, including loans, payment cards, cash management, as well as a wide range of savings, insurance, and pension products. The bank employs 1,640 staff and is headquartered in Aalborg.
Net income: DKK 737.0 million (2020)
Total assets: DKK 108.2 billion (3/2021)
Saxo Bank A/S
Established in 1992, Saxo Bank is an investment bank. The bank employs 1,500 staff and is headquartered in Hellerup.
Net income: DKK 39.38 million (2019)
Total assets: DKK 38.33 billion (2019)
Realkredit Danmark A/S
The bank was founded in 1851 and is based in Copenhagen. It provides property financing services to personal and business customers in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. It operates through two segments: Mortgage Finance and Proprietary Portfolio.
With 224 employees, Realkredit Danmark A/S is a subsidiary of Danske Bank A/S.