Danske Girds for New Capital Demands Amid Watchdog Crackdown

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Danske Girds for New Capital Demands Amid Watchdog Crackdown
Credit: © Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- Danske Bank A/S (CSE: DANSKE ) said it is in talks with the Danish financial supervisor as it braces for potential additions to its capital requirements after the list of scandals under regulatory scrutiny grew.

“We expect capital requirements to be subject to change going forward,” the Copenhagen-based bank said on Thursday. The report follows a profit warning earlier this month, in which Danske said that extra compliance costs and a tougher trading environment forced it to lower its outlook for 2019.

“We anticipate an additional Pillar II add-on in the mid-single-digit billion range. On the basis of our earnings capacity and capitalization, we are confident that we will be able to adapt to these changes in our capital requirements,” the bank said.

Once a star among European banks, Danske has been in survival mode since its Estonian money-laundering scandal erupted last year. As investors struggle to keep up with the newsflow, Danske’s shares have plunged by almost 60% since the beginning of 2018, equivalent to more than $20 billion in lost market value.

Danske is still waiting for the result of criminal probes across Europe and in the U.S., while a number of its former top people, including ex-chief executive officer Thomas Borgen, have had preliminary charges brought against them. More recently, the bank fired a former star executive, Jesper Nielsen, after it emerged that he’d overseen a unit that had overcharged retail investors.

In June, Danske brought in ABN Amro veteran Chris Vogelzang to run the bank. He has made clear that his first priority will be to rebuild trust.

Danske has said it plans to unveil measures later this year to help the bank perform better. On Thursday, it said that it’s still “making significant investments to combat financial crime, which drives costs upwards.”

“Given these circumstances and the conditions we are operating under, we see a need for initiatives to improve our financial performance and regain our business momentum,” it said.

(Adds details from report.)

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