History of Danske Bank Group

The history of the Group dates back to 1871 when Den Danske Landmandsbank was established. However, separate structural units thereof have an even longer history.

1800s — Founding of precursor banks of the Group
The Group’s various units were founded in the nineteenth century, with Northern Bank, from 1809, the oldest. Its Danish roots go back to 1846, with the founding of Fyns Disconto Kasse (later Provinsbanken) and to 1871, with the founding of Den Danske Landmandsbank (later Den Danske Bank).

1900s — First subsidiaries
The Group began as Den Danske Landmandsbank and gradually expanded its business in the twentieth century by establishing subsidiaries. But it was not until the 1990s that it began to resemble the financial enterprise we know today.

1970-76 — Accessibility in Denmark
In 1970s, the main focus of the Group was to make its services accessible in the entire Denmark. In the middle of the 1970s, it had reached its goal. Afterwards, rising Danish exports opened new business opportunities outside Denmark.

1976 — Expansion outside Denmark
The first visible sign of an international strategy appeared in 1976, when Danske Bank International was opened in Luxembourg.

1980 — First financial report of the Group
From a legal perspective, the Danske Bank Group came into being with its first annual report in 1980.

1990 — Merger of Handelsbanken, Provinsbanken and Den Danske Bank
As a result of the liberalisation of banking legislation in Denmark, Handelsbanken, Provinsbanken and Den Danske Bank merged, with Den Danske Bank as the name of the continuing bank.

1995 — Danica Pension becomes part of the Group
From the mid-1990s Danske Bank saw good earnings growth that was reflected in its share price. The advance was partly the result of developing new business areas. In 1995, the Bank acquired Danica.

1998 — Founding of BG Kredit and Kapital Holding A/S (later RealDanmark)
BG Kredit and its parent company, Kapital Holding A/S (later RealDanmark) were founded as a result of a collaboration between Realkredit Danmark and BG Bank. RealDanmark merged with the Danske Bank Group in 2001.

1997-99 Östgöta Enskilda Bank (Sweden) and Fokus Bank (Norway) join the Group
In 1997, the Group launched its “Nordic region as home market” strategy. The Bank acquired Östgöta Enskilda Bank, Sweden, and set up branches in Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki. Two years later, in 1999, the Group acquired Fokus Bank, Norway.

1999-2000 — Two name changes
In 1999, Danica sold the non-life part of its business to Topdanmark and changed its name to the more telling Danica Pension. One year later, Den Danske Bank simplified its name to Danske Bank.

2001 — Realkredit Danmark and BG Bank become part of the Group
On 1 January 2001, RealDanmark A/S merged with Danske Bank. RealDanmark A/S was the parent company of two subsidiaries — Realkredit Danmark A/S, (a mortgage finance provider) and BG Bank A/S (bank). The two units continued to operate under their previous brand names.

2005 — International business expanded in Ireland and Northern Ireland
On 14 December 2004, the Group reached an agreement with National Australia Bank to acquire National Irish Bank (Ireland) and Northern Bank (Northern Ireland). The transaction was completed on 28 February 2005, and the two banks were integrated on the Group’s shared platform.

2006 — Acquisition of Sampo Bank
On 9 November 2006, the Group strengthened its activities in the northern European market by acquiring Finland’s third-largest bank, Sampo Bank plc, including its subsidiary banks in the Baltic States and branch in St. Petersburg. The acquisition took effect on 1 February 2007.

2007 — Absorption of BG Bank by Danske Bank
At Easter 2007, BG Bank was absorbed by Danske Bank Denmark because the two banks had become fairly similar since BG Bank was incorporated in the Group. The objective was to make the new Danske Bank even more accessible and competitive in the market.

Detailed information about the Danske Bank Group and its unit history