Business News in Brief: Returning unwanted presents a minefield, warns business body

In other news, Danske Bank and Nordea rue gifts they didn’t ask for, and H&M and rail operator regret a few of their own

Online shopping has broadened many horizons in the quest for the perfect Christmas present, but it comes with its pitfalls warns the business interest group Dansk Erhverv when it comes to unwanted presents.

Dansk Erhverv expects Danes to want to exchange unwanted Christmas gifts to the tune of 350 million kroner in the weeks following the festive period, and one in four were probably bought online, and many from international sites.

Now is as good a time as any, suggests Dansk Erhverv, to be aware of the rules governing online purchases.

Black Friday woes
EU online retail sites are obliged to cancel a transaction if they are notified within 14 days of the purchase. But this could be bad news for those receiving presents from early bird buyers on Black Friday, as the obligation will have often expired by December 24.

However, no such guarantee exists at physical stores, warns Bo Dalsgaard, a lawyer and chief consultant at Dansk Erhverv.

“It’s important to check the individual store’s exchange rules,” he advised. “The stores typically require you to bring the receipt if you want the money back.”

Fines for banks over violations
Danske Bank has been fined 12.5 million kroner by international economic crime body SØIK for not fully complying with the provisions of the Money Laundering Act. The fine did not relate to recent violations at its Estonian office, but to a general failure to monitor certain transactions. A separate ongoing investigation into Danske Bank’s Estonian violations is being carried out by Danish body Finanstilsynet. Meanwhile, pan-Scandinavian bank Nordea has been fined in connection with the Panama Papers disclosure. It was one of eight European companies fined a total of 14.9 million kroner for “medium or serious” violations.

Record amount of pre-Christmas spending
There were a record number of Dankort transactions over the first 23 days of December, reports Nets. They grew by 3.8 percent – 1.7 billion kroner more than in 2016. Weighing in with 1.97 billion kroner, December 22 was Denmark’s third biggest trading day ever. However, it is too early to proclaim a huge jump in December consumption, as traditionally more money is spent in the sales following Christmas.

Margrethe Vestager looking forward to high-profile year
2018 promises to be a momentous year for Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, as she pursues cases against the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft to ensure the tech giants pay a fair rate of taxation in the countries in which they operate – so pretty much everywhere. IKEA, Fiat and Starbucks are also on her hitlist, while the EU tax havens of Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are also expected to come under the Dane’s scrutiny.

Two more pension funds to offload tobacco shares
Two more Danish pension funds are offloading their shares in tobacco companies. PenSam, which has 400,000 customers, has sold 500 million shares and identified 29 tobacco companies it will no longer consider investing in. Lærernes Pension, which has 150,000 customers, has plans to dispose of all its tobacco shares over the coming months. The decision follows similar moves by PKA Pension (300,000 customers) and Alm Brands (65,000).

Discount of the year on H&M’s website
Christmas came early on H&M’s website on the morning of December 22. For a short time, a technical glitch made many of the clothing store’s online products available for sale for just 39.99 kroner an item. A spokesperson confirmed to that all the purchases would be honoured at the available price.

Rail operator criticised for paying out bonus to executive
Rail operator Banedanmark is under fire for paying a 100,000 kroner annual bonus to the head of its new signal program, despite it already costing 4.4 billion kroner more than projected and its introduction being delayed by seven years until 2030.