MPs want Bos statement on ABN Amro

A majority of MPs wants finance minister Wouter Bos to explain what criteria he is using to decide whether he would allow the possible split up of ABN Amro bank, reports Thursday’s Financieele Dagblad.

Both of the two rival bidders embroiled in the battle for the Dutch bank require a declaration from the minister saying he has no objections to a takeover.
The opposition Socialist (SP) and Groenlinks parties have asked for a parliamentary debate on the issue and are supported by the minister’s own Labour party as well as the smaller D66 and PVV.
‘The most important reason to hold a debate soon is that Bos is making a decision about the consortium at this moment,’ SP MP Ewout Irrgang told the paper.
‘The takeover by the consortium is irresponsible because of the big risks and uncertainty for the financial sector,’ he said.
Formally the minister does not need parliament’s support for his decision on the takeover bids. But political pressure on him is mounting, with MPs clearly concerned about the bank’s future.
On Wednesday two provincial councils called on Bos to block a takeover by the consortium saying this would lead to too many redundancies and damage Amsterdam’s reputation as a financial centre.
Earlier this month Britain’s Barclays bank was given the green light by Bos and the minister is expected to give his decision on the rival bid by the consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland in September. Unlike Barclays, the consortium wants to split up ABN Amro.
Meanwhile, today’s Volkskrant reports that Barclays executive Bob Diamond told TV station CNCB that his bank is still interested in taking over ABN Amro despite the current unrest on US financial markets.

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