Grand setting for ups and downs
Since 1875, the headquarters of Danske Bank, formerly Landmandsbanken, have had a prominent location at Peschiers Gård on Holmens Kanal in central Copenhagen. In 1797, wholesale merchant Peschier commissioned C.F. Harsdorff, architect by royal appointment to the…
Denmark's biggest bank crash
By the time of its golden jubilee in October 1921, Landmandsbanken was the largest bank in the Nordic Region, but the colossus had feet of clay. The directors had inflated its value by letting the bank buy up its own shares. Meanwhile, they were attempting to conceal massive losses on unsecured lending, not to mention the directors' own failed speculation in stocks and shares. By September 1922, no amount of creative accounting could avert bankruptcy. The customers queued along the canal to withdraw their money, while the bank's errand boys hauled money in sacks across the street from the Danish central bank, Nationalbanken. The Government took over the insolvent estate, but it took several attempts before the bank, with the assistance of investors such as shipping magnate A.P. Møller, was reconstructed in 1928.
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