In September 2011, the government of Denmark announced a change in private-sector financial support.



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 07 Oct 2011 | Removal date: 06 Apr 2012

Capital injection and equity stakes (including bailouts)

On 30 September 2011, Denmark informed the EC about its intention to support Max bank.
Max bank is a 'small-sized' bank with a balance sheet of EUR 1.2 billion (2011). The bank is mainly active within Denmark and partly owned by the state (19.4 per cent). After a merger in 2010 , Max Bank became a 'significant regional bank in the southern and western parts of Zealand, Denmark' (para. 6, letter from the EC to Denmark, Brussels 7.10.2011)
Due to the falling prices for property and the significant proportion of property-related lending in the portfolio of the bank (para. 10), the bank requested financial assistance from the state. No final decision has been made, but two aid schemes are proposed by the Danish authorities:
Model 1) A complete takeover by another bank supported by a state compensation to the buyer
Model 2) A nationalization of the bank and a split into a good bank (will be sold) and a bad bank, including compensation for the bad bank part.
The EC finds that both scenarios entail a selective advantage to: (para. 42)

  • Model I: the bank taking over the entire Max bank
  • Model II: the buyer of the good bank as well as the bad bank itself

The EC finally concludes that: "The advantage procured by the measures would strengthen the beneficiaries' position compared to that of their competitors. Given the integration of the banking market at European level, that effect is felt by competitors both in Denmark (where banks from other Member States operate) and in other Member States. The measures, whether Model I or Model II, must therefore be regarded as potentially distorting competition and affecting trade between Member States." (para. 55)
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.