‘Brussels blocked rescue plan for troubled SNS Reaal’ (update)

MPs from the ruling VVD Liberals and Labour party (PvdA) have refused to comment on reports that Brussels has blocked a potential rescue bid for struggling financial services group SNS Reaal, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Wednesday.


The paper claims the European Commission scuppered the rescue plan by banning the involvement of ABN Amro and ING.
MPs declined to comment on the claims, saying they have not yet seen any proposals from finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
State support
The Dutch finance ministry favours allowing the three big Dutch banks (ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank) to be involved in an eventual rescue deal. However, Brussels is opposed because ING and ABN Amro have themselves received state support, the Financieele Dagblad says.
The paper says the ministry and Dutch central bank discussed the issue with Brussels last year but the ‘signs were not encouraging’.
Other sources have also told the paper ABN Amro and ING have been excluded and a spokesman for the Commission said in a reaction the two banks ‘may not make any acquisitions’.
Property
SNS Reaal has been hit by heavy losses at its property arm and some form of rescue is looking increasingly likely.
One option would be the formation of a ‘bad bank’, which would manage the property portfolio. But now ING and ABN Amro have been ruled out as possible shareholders, this is unlikely because Rabobank does not want to go it alone, the FD says.
A state capital injection would now seem to be the likely outcome, although this is politically sensitive, the paper says.
SNS is due to present its annual report on February 14 and insiders expect a solution for the property division will be on the table by then.


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