”Bankmanden sidder på en betroet post, og må vise sig tilliden værdig.”: Et speciale om Danske Bank’s håndtering af finanskrisen set fra et kundeperspektiv

Marie Korsbakke Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The American investment bank, Lehmann Brothers, went bankrupt on September 15, 2008. This was the beginning of the largest worldwide financial crisis since the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Today’s financial crisis has also made an impact on the Danish financial market: The largest commercial bank in Denmark, Danske Bank, had to change its slogan “Do what you’re the best at – that’s what we do” due the fact that people started to question the trustworthyness of the bank, and whether they were able to run a bank at all. Danske Bank was suddenly in a deep crisis of confidence. This thesis investigates how Danske Bank has handled this crisis of confidence in the relationship with its customers by change of communication strategy from “Do what you’re the best at – that’s what we do” to “Opinion” and “[A] Better Bank”. Based on Niklas Luhmann’s theory on social systems, the first conclusion of this thesis deals with how the customer as a concept collects meaning in the three strategies, including if there is a semantic displacement of meaning in terms of how Danske Bank observes their customers. The conclusion of the first analysis is that the customer - besides being a part of the bank’s external environment – now is a part of the bank itself as well. In the second part of the analysis, the differentiation analysis of Luhmann will be used to look at how Danske Bank views itself in its communication with its customers. The analysis concludes that Danske Bank has a different self-description for every strategy and that the customer moves closer to the bank in this process of change. Finally there is a discussion on how the change of strategies makes different premises for trust, and what condition of options these premises will make for the future communication of Danske Bank as a credible and trustworthy financial business.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages100