Scandal overshadows Danske results

Danske Bank’s interim chief executive said that it was too early to assess what damage Denmark’s largest lender had sustained from a €200bn money-laundering scandal and warned of potentially “big” fines.

Danske’s third-quarter earnings on Thursday showed the bank’s lending had increased across the Nordic countries, with solid activity among retail and commercial customers, giving its battered shares a welcome respite.

“We should be careful not to underestimate the undercurrent. Because if we look at the bank’s reputation, we can see that it is under pressure,” Jesper Nielsen said.

It was therefore too early to say whether the scandal could lead to a significant decline in business volumes, he said after Danske reported a 42pc fall in third-quarter pre-tax profit, largely the result of a previously announced donation it is making to initiatives to fight financial crime.

Danske Bank has largely pulled out of the Republic since the crash but has operations in Northern Ireland, where it reported growth of nearly 30pc in new mortgage lending for the first nine months of the year. Pre-tax profit fell from £80m to £67m.