By Dominic Chopping
Danske Bank AS (DANSKE.KO) reported on Thursday a 6.8% fall in second-quarter net profit as it warned that the cost of its intensified focus on compliance and anti-money laundering activities will remain high.
The bank is being investigated by Estonia, Denmark, France and the U.S. over allegations that around $230 billion in suspicious funds from Russia and other former Soviet states entered Europe through its tiny branch in Estonia. It said Thursday that no material developments regarding the case took place in the second quarter, but that it continues to have a negative impact in terms of customer satisfaction and outflow among retail customers in Denmark.
The lender made a quarterly net profit of 3.84 billion Danish kroner ($576.1 million) compared with DKK4.11 billion in the year-earlier period. The Copenhagen-based bank was expected to deliver a net profit of DKK3.87 billion, according to a poll of analysts provided by FactSet.
Net interest income fell to DKK6.98 billion from DKK7.21 billion.
The decline in net profit was due primarily to lower net interest income, lower trading income, higher expenses, especially for anti-money laundering investments and compliance, as well as an anticipated in-crease in impairments due to fewer reversals from the allowance account.
Danske also saw a negative impact from the estimated compensation payable from the previously announced mismanagement of a financial product that overcharged its customers.
The bank said it now expects the generally slow momentum in income to continue, driven mainly by margin pressure and challenging conditions in the financial markets.
New Chief Executive Chris Vogelzang said his focus in the coming weeks and months will be on analysis of the business and strategy.
"Later this year, we will come back with an update on how we will make sure that Danske Bank can continue to deliver an excellent customer experience, make a positive societal impact, be a great place to work for our employees and create long-term value for our shareholders," he said.
Danske reiterated its recently downgraded full-year guidance for net profit of DKK13 billion-DKK15 billion and expenses of DKK25.5 billion-DKK26 billion.
Danske Bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio--a key measure of financial strength--rose to 16.6% at the end of the quarter, up from 15.9% a year earlier.
Write to Dominic Chopping at email@example.com; @domchopping @WSJNordics