The Netherlands will this year make a loss on the billions of euros lent to banks to bail them out of the financial crisis, according to finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
The minister made the comments at a New Year reception for the Labour party, but will send a detailed briefing to parliament shortly, Nos television reported.
The interest rate the state is paying on the loans to the banks is now higher than the dividends and interest paid by the banks, the minister is quoted as saying.
The biggest loan taken out by the state was €30bn to rescue and nationalise ABN Amro after its abortive takeover by an international banking consortium. But the dividends earned by the state from ABN Amro are insufficient to offset the cost of the loan, Nos said.
Aegon has completely repaid its loan while ING almost completed its repayments. SNS is also in the process of paying back the cash.
RTL news said on Thursday afternoon the minister’s comments had caused a great deal of confusion.
In 2011, the state earned €1.6bn on the loans but this had been all but wiped out last year. But in 2013, the government had expected to spend €1.17bn on interest but to get back €1.33bn in interest and dividends.
Now the government is not expecting to make a profit, questions are being asked about what has changed, RTL said. One theory is that the state will bail out SNS bank, which is in financial trouble over its property investments, the broadcaster said.