Aktionærindflydelse i danske banker

Jon Melchior Gudmandsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


paper explores the relationship between the Danish banks and their stockholders. The recent crisis in the financial markets has uncovered massive problems with corporate governance in the Danish banking sector and particularly the role of shareholders and their influence on the management of the banks has been viewed as an important cause of the crisis. The paper starts off with a brief discussion of corporate governance problems that arise in and are unique for the banking sector from an agency theory point-of-view. After this introductory discussion the paper embarks on a survey of a sample of banks that are grouped according to how well they have managed through the crisis. The survey shows that the managements of the Danish banks have had a large degree of discretion when controlling their banks and the survey indicates that agency problems such as irresponsible growth and entrenchment can be found in the Danish banks. Stockholders’ options for engaging in the control of the banks are analyzed, and the paper then argues that the agency problems found in the banks are the result of a lack of influence from shareholders, which then again stems from institutional factors such as the ownership structure in Danish Banks, and corporate law-statutes that provide for the undermining of shareholder influence. After a short review of the common viewpoints from international and national institutions on shareholder activism, measures that can increase the incentives for shareholders to take a more engaged perspective on ownership on the Danish banks are introduced. These measures include the abolishment of voting ceilings, which are common in the Danish banks, and an introduction of double voting rights shares dependent on time of ownership, and the consequences of incorporating the measures in the Danish are analyzed. Lastly, a summarizing conclusion is given to the issues raised in the first chapter of the paper.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages119