Danske Bank, which is reeling from a €200bn ((£176bn) money-laundering scandal, was dealt another humiliating blow on Wednesday when the Danish financial regulator blocked its candidate to become chief executive.
The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) intervened to stop the appointment of Jacob Aarup-Andersen, warning that the internal candidate did not have enough experience to lead the country’s biggest lender, which has been plunged into crisis by what the European commission said in September was “the biggest scandal” in Europe.
Aarup-Andersen, 40, who was Danske Bank’s head of wealth management, had been the board’s unanimous choice to lead the bank after the resignation of the former boss Thomas Borgen.
However, the regulator stepped in to block the appointment, warning that Aarup-Andersen, who joined Danske in 2016, did not have enough experience.
It is an embarrassing blow for the Danske board, which is already facing questions over its failure to spot the money-laundering scheme and for not taking immediate action to remove Borgen from his post when the scandal first came to light.
The bank is facing criminal investigations in six countries, including the US.
“The board of directors unanimously backed Jacob Aarup-Andersen as new CEO, knowing full well that longer experience in certain areas would have been desirable,” Ole Andersen, Danske’s chairman, said. “The board has noted the FSA’s reply. The board is in dialogue with other potential candidates and will now continue the recruitment process in order to find the best possible person for the position.”
Aarup-Andersen will continue in his current role as head of wealth management and as a board member. “I am proud and happy that Danske Bank’s board of directors recommended me for the position as CEO as it is a strong sign of recognition,” he said. “I have of course noted the FSA’s reply and their reasoning.”
Analysts said they expected the bank would have to look for an external candidate to fill the top job. Danske’s board declined to comment further on its executive search.
Author: Rupert Neate
Source: The Guardian