September 26, 2022

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DNB chief warns customers of tough times.  Switch banks, people!  - daily newspaper

DNB chief warns customers of tough times. Switch banks, people! – daily newspaper

The music isn’t great with Kjerstin Braathen playing the DNB chords. When she visited the monetary summit in Davos just before the summer, Prathen said the energy crisis would be painful and we should accept some suffering in the transition. Last week, the largest bank bought a villa in Holmenkollen for 41 million NOK.

A private matter? not exactly.

As the head of the country’s largest bank, with the majority of the public as its customers, the Norwegian state as the largest owner and the DNB as a large public stake, Chief Executive Prathen is a political figure in many ways. A public figure who is being listened to. Thus, the private actions of the head of the DNB are also politics in a fragile time. Prathin has a central role to play as head of one of the most important institutions in the country, and she doesn’t seem to understand it.

If your bank manager can live like this, then you are paying too much.

If the bank prepares its customers for difficult times, then this should be reflected in the actions of the company. Purchases of high-end villas in this price range do not contribute to confidence and credibility. Some would argue vanity.

Managerial salaries and bonus plans have been a recurring topic of domestic controversy in recent years. There is talk and fist pumping and nothing happens. DNB is among the companies that have received criticism for its bonuses to senior managers. In the midst of anxious public conversation and clear political signals, Brathes went on compensation package From NOK 13.7 million in 2020 to NOK 15 million in 2021. NOK 8.3 million in salary, i.e. NOK 700,000 in monthly salary. Plus 3.2 million bonuses for being good and 2.4 million shares. Plus a small million for retirement contributions and various fringe benefits. This is as it should be.

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Braathen can afford to heat the pool, a six-car garage (we think Finansavisen) and run the private tennis court. The pain you are talking about will not affect her.

Salary and bonus reached their temporary peak somewhere below Gratishaugen in Holmenkollen. Buying the villa is full of symbols, an image of modern Norway that people understand. The distance between ordinary people and the elite becomes tangible. People must be angry. Because if your bank manager can live like this, it must mean that you are paying too much – and the services of the bank are very expensive. It is clear that DNB is well paid, by ordinary people and companies who have no other choice but to use the services of banks.

Yes, perhaps the purchase of Villa Prathin is precisely one of the symptoms that the competition between banks is very bad. Look how fat the banking system is! It is not a wise signal to send. But like few others, it has already contributed to weakening competition in the banking market. Its DNB fought against the Norwegian Competition Authority and won, leaving Sbanken in the spring. Against the explicit advice of the State Inspectorate.

Read more of Lars West Johnson’s comments here

Bank shows arrogance in many areas. And just last year, the bank received criticism from the Norwegian Competition Authority, the Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority and the Norwegian Consumer Council. In May last year, DNB received 400 million NOK Fine. Then the gross and persistent deficiencies in compliance with the money laundering law were revealed. Two reports provided an overwhelming verdict on the DNB’s lack of vigilance.

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The lack of vigilance seems to be getting to the top. All the way to Holmenkollen.

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