A Danish bank is finding itself in hot water today after admitting it had known “for years” that technology problems with its systems were causing it to collect outdated or excessive amounts from its customers and never did anything to address the problem.
Danske Bank, which has been in operation for 250 years and has more than 5 million customers. A regulator in Denmark has launched an investigation to try and determine why the bank wrongly collected debts from more than 106,000 customers dating back to 2004. As many as 15,000 customers are entitled to be compensated for the errors. So far, $63,000 has been repaid to 326 customers, according to a published report.
The bank said it would stop collecting on 17,000 different accounts while it works out its issues.
“We deeply regret the situation and the uncertainty our mistakes and the data flaws in our debt collection system have caused for our customers, employees and other stakeholders. Unfortunately, we cannot change the mistakes of the past, which were not properly handled previously. But we can – and that is what we are doing – make sure we investigate the issues thoroughly, correct the mistakes and fully compensate our customers,” said Chris Vogelzang, the chief executive of Danske Bank, in a statement.
Among the errors under investigation are individuals who paid the wrong amount of interest on collection fees, erroneous data for court cases, agency fees, and inaccurately reporting of customer tax information, the bank announced as the results of its investigation and response to the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
The bank’s senior managers were made aware of the problem in May 2019 and the bank has since initiated a “wide range of remediation measures” to address the issues.