Bye-bye executive privilege, hello meals with the masses

One of the first major decisions by newly appointed Danske Bank managing director will be to close the executive dining room

For decades, top executives at Danske Bank were able to enjoy their lunch in an executive lunch room located above the boardroom at bank headquarters at Holmens Kanal in Copenhagen.

There, far away from the teeming mass of ordinary employees, upper management feasted on a selection of classic Danish smørrebrød, traditional open-faced sandwiches.

Those halcyon days are over, according to Thomas F Borgen, the newly appointed managing director. The executive lunch room is slated to be closed down within a week, and the execs will be forced to lunch with everyday staff at one of Danske Bank’s three employee canteens.

New boss, no more lunch
Borgen, who has been with the bank since 1997, replaced Eivind Kolding as managing director just last week. He did not reveal his reasons for taking the smørrebrød out of management mouths and is slated to give his first interviews to the press in early October.

Danske Bank has endured a number of PR fiascos and questionable decisions over the past few years, including alienating many of its customers by discontinuing face-to-face transactions at 131 branches and announcing that it would charge customers up to 480 kroner a year to have a standard account. According to a report by Jyllands-Posten newspaper this May, the bank lost 117,000 customers in less than a year.

Some in the finance industry are suggesting closing the executive dining room smorgasbord is a way to make the bank look less stuffy.





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.