ABN Amro, Barclays announce merger plan

ABN Amro and Barclays today announced details of their €67bn merger plan but analysts said the battle for the Dutch bank is probably far from over. The deal gives Barclays’ shareholders a 52% stake in ABN Amro which will be called Barclays but have its headquarters in Amsterdam.

The merger will lead to around 12,800 job cuts while a further 10,800 posts will be transferred to low-cost countries. It is not yet clear how many jobs will go in the Netherlands. Unions have called on ABN Amro to clarify the situation.
The new bank will be led by Barclay’s chairman John Varley who will move to Amsterdam along with other senior staff.
ABN Amro chairman Rijkman Groenink, who will be a non-executive director at the merged company, said ABN Amro customers would not notice much difference. The ABN Amro brand was ‘so valuable that we should not let it disappear,’ ANP reported him as saying.
If the deal goes through, Barclays will become the second biggest UK bank and the fifth biggest banking conglomerate in the world.
But the tie-up could still be threatened by a rival consortium lead by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is working on a deal together with Fortis and Santander.
In a separate statement ABN Amro announced on Monday it was selling its US bank LaSalle to Bank of America for $21bn. RBS had hoped to pick up LaSalle as part of its rival takeover move.

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