(Bloomberg) — Danske Bank A/S will cut 1,600 jobs as part of its ongoing effort to save money amid spiraling compliance costs and long-term negative interest rates.

a person standing in front of a building: Pedestrians pass a Danske Bank A/S bank branch in Aalborg, Denmark, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. Denmark is re-introducing a number of coronavirus-related restrictions following the worst spike in infections since the height of the pandemic.

© Bloomberg
Pedestrians pass a Danske Bank A/S bank branch in Aalborg, Denmark, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. Denmark is re-introducing a number of coronavirus-related restrictions following the worst spike in infections since the height of the pandemic.

“It is never easy to reduce the number of colleagues, and we will do our best to ensure that we do this in the most decent and respectful way,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Vogelzang said in a statement on Thursday. “However, we need to adapt to the structural changes that the financial sector is experiencing.”

Danske is still being investigated for a vast money laundering scandal, which triggered a jump in the lender’s compliance costs. More recently, Denmark’s biggest bank admitted it overcharged retail customers for years due to errors in its debt collection system.

The bank, which has lived with eight years of negative rates in its home market of Denmark, is under growing political pressure to improve its business as the regulator and parliament lose patience with the string of scandals.

Video: Mortgage bailout numbers rise to 21,000 in the past week (CNBC)

Mortgage bailout numbers rise to 21,000 in the past week



Vogelzang said the cuts are needed “to remain competitive in a low-margin and highly competitive market.” The measures are part of Danske’s so-called 2023 plan, which targets becoming “even more efficient and competitive,” it said.

The bank currently employs about 22,000 people, which is up from 20,000 in 2017. Roughly 11,000 work in Denmark, where Danske is based. Staff will have the option of applying for voluntary redundancy agreements until Oct. 25, the bank said.

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers estimate they have found cost-savings of about $280 million by simplifying and cutting some frills from next year’s postponed games.

The report came as the International Olympic Committee executive board met on-line with officials in Japan on Wednesday.

The savings represent about 2% of the official Tokyo Olympic budget of $12.6 billion.

A national audit last year indicated the real costs might be twice as high as the officials numbers. And the University of Oxford published a study last month arguing Tokyo is the most expensive Summer Olympics on record.

The meter is running even as organizers talk about cuts, which are hard to find because spending on large items like expensive venues has already been completed.

Gakuji Ito, the chief financial officer of the Tokyo Olympics, acknowledged the cost-savings figure was only an estimate.

“How we calculated the cost reductions is something that is unprecedented and it is an initiative no one has every experienced,” Ito said, speaking in Japanese. “From an administrative perspective, we struggled hard.”

About 50 proposed cuts were listed on a detailed document from the organizers. Among them were: changes in equipment and re-configuring venues; fewer decorative banners; a 10-15% reduction in “stakeholders” delegation sizes; fewer shuttle buses; reduction in hospitality areas; suspension in production of mascot costumes; and cancellation of official team welcome ceremonies.

No cuts are planned for the number of sports or the number of competitors.

Also largely untouched will be the opening and closing ceremonies, the heavily sponsored 121-day torch relay, and competition areas that will be seen on television broadcasts.

Yoishiro Mori, the organizing committee president and a former Japanese prime minister, talked about the need to cut back on the extras at the games — mostly for the so-called Olympic Family and VIPs.

Fire chiefs have intervened in the financial crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of high-rise leaseholders by urging insurers to think twice before they hike premiums on towers with fire safety problems.

a sign on the side of a building: Photograph: Anselm Ebulue/Getty Images

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Anselm Ebulue/Getty Images

With some leaseholders facing increases of up to 1,200% in building insurance and others unable to get any cover, the National Fire Chiefs Council has met the Association of British Insurers to argue for a “more informed approach”. The fire chiefs are concerned that insurers have been increasing premiums sharply regardless of the degree of danger uncovered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower.

a sign on the side of a building: More than 70 people died in the Grenfell Tower disaster of 2017 but many other buildings are still covered in dangerous cladding.

© Photograph: Anselm Ebulue/Getty Images
More than 70 people died in the Grenfell Tower disaster of 2017 but many other buildings are still covered in dangerous cladding.

One group of leaseholders at the M&M buildings in London saw their premium rise from £100,000 to £700,000, increasing annual service charges by an average of £3,500.

Residents at Brindley House in Birmingham had no buildings insurance for at least six weeks this year as a result of insurers’ reluctance to provide cover, campaigners in the city said. At another Birmingham block, Islington Gate, premiums rose from £37,000 to around £200,000.

Some directors and officers of leaseholders’ management companies have also been denied cover, meaning they face huge legal bills if claims are made against them.

The UK Cladding Action Group, which represents affected residents, is also due to meet the ABI on Thursday to demand change. Social landlords have not experienced the same premium hikes, according to the National Housing Federation.

“We want a more informed approach to allow any change to insurance to be appropriate,” said Daniel Daly, head of the protection policy and reform unit at the NFCC. “We have always been concerned about the impact

Justin McCurry retired in 2013. He and his wife decided at the beginning of their marriage that they wanted to quit working while they were young.

So the couple ran some calculations, made a budget and set out to save 50% to 80% of their income every month. After about 10 years, McCurry was 33 years old and the couple had saved the nearly $1.3 million he estimated they needed to retire. 

McCurry left his job as an engineer, and his wife retired from her career as a financial analyst not long after. Leaving their employers meant that the couple needed a way to provide health insurance for themselves and their three children. 

The average health insurance plan costs nearly $5,500 per year for an individual and close to $14,000 for a family, according to a 2020 study by eHealth.

Living on a fixed income, McCurry hoped to pay much less than the national average for his family’s plan. 

Check out this video to see how McCurry, and others like him, purchased health insurance after retiring early. 

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