Today, Spar Nord Bank remains one of the most important financial institutions in Denmark. This large bank boasts well over 350,000 customers. It employs some 1500 people. During 2012, the firm reported pre-tax profits in the high 600 million Danish krone (“DKK”) range.(1)
A Busy Danish Bank
Spar Nord Bank today performs a variety of financial roles. It maintains two broad divisions. One serves commercial and residential banking customers by performing banking transactions and offering loans, credit cards, and a variety of insurance products. The other segment of the company engages in investment banking and the management of large asset portfolios. For instance, Spar Nord Bank conducts trading in Forex markets.
Currently, Spar Nord Bank operates from multiple branch locations. Most of its offices serve people in the Northern Jutland peninsula in populous Danish communities. These locations assist the firm in catering to residential and business customers.
An Historic Danish Bank
People unfamiliar with this bank in the United States might not realize it maintains a long and illustrious history. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia reports Spar Nord Bank originated on May 12, 1824. Reportedly, the company began as a single bank located in the tiny Danish town of Aalborg. Over time, both the bank and the community expanded in size significantly. Today, Aalborg ranks as the fourth largest metropolis in Denmark with a population exceeding 130,000 residents.
The financial institution grew in size through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Like many companies, it developed over the course of decades of growth. Today, Spar Nord Bank has developed an international reputation as a leading Danish banking institution. Its connections to Aalborg remain strong, since the company still maintains a branch in this charming northern city.
Spar Nord Bank’s Aalborg Ties
Probably the company’s roots in Aalborg deserve mention in part because of the beauty of Aalborg. Some fans refer to the community as the “Paris of the North”. The city nestles along the banks of the long Limfjord at its narrowest, most inland point. Located 256 miles outside Copenhagen (and closer to Sweden than to the nation’s capital in geographic terms), Aalborg still retains many architectural buildings dating from a much earlier period in history. In 1863, residents established the Aalborg Historical Museum, an institution which now comprises one branch of the larger Historical Museum of Northern Jutland.
Just a year after the founding of the bank, Aalborg suffered the effects of a devastating storm. The weather system savaged residents living beside the North Sea, and even impacted more sheltered communities like Aalborg. Referred to variously as the 1825 North Sea Storm or the Great Hallig Flood, the disaster cost an estimated 800 lives. It seriously damaged the herring trade in Jutland. Nevertheless, despite this setback for the local economy, the Spar Nord Bank’s Aalborg institution remained open for business and eventually developed into a Danish banking powerhouse!