‘Drastic action on SNS is imminent’

Drastic intervention at troubled financial services group SNS Reaal is on the cards, political and financial sources have told the Telegraaf.

Over the coming few days, action will be taken to keep the bank and insurance group alive, and nationalisation is ‘definitely in the picture’, the paper says.

SNS still owes the Dutch state €850m following its bail-out during the 2008 financial crisis.

The paper says finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and the Dutch central bank can use new Dutch legislation allowing them to take over part or all of a Dutch listed bank. A takeover via a private company is also an option.

A spokesman for SNS told the Telegraaf a rescue operation is not ‘almost ready’ but did confirm the bank is in talks with the finance ministry.

Brussels

Earlier this month, the Financieele Dagblad said Brussels had blocked a potential rescue bid for SNS Reaal, by banning the involvement of ABN Amro and ING.

The paper said Dijsselbloem 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.

Losses

SNS Reaal has been hit by heavy losses at its property arm

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.

On Tuesday, it emerged special investigators from the finance ministry’s fraud office are looking into ‘possible criminal offences’ with regard to development projects carried out by its property arm.

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