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Country Awards for Excellence 2014: Nordics & Baltics



Best bank: Danske Bank
Best investment bank: Nordea 

Last autumn, Danske Bank would have been an improbable candidate for best bank in Denmark. In September, new CEO Thomas Borgen replaced Eivind Kolding, who was shown the door after an unhappy tenure that had lasted only 19 months. One of Borgen’s first priorities was to inject a healthy dose of realism into Danske’s ambitions, cutting the bank’s ROE target for 2015 from 12% to 9%.

Borgen, a Danske man since 1997 and who previously headed up the bank’s corporate and institutional banking division, has since taken his axe to a range of risky businesses, reduced short-term mortgage lending and wound down much of the bank’s Irish operation. Danske has denied reports that it is considering pulling out of Sweden and Norway, but one analyst says that the focus is now clearly on areas where the bank has critical mass – the most obvious of which is Denmark.