Bos accepts ABN Amro needs more cash

Nationalised bank ABN Amro will need an injection of government money at ‘some point’, finance minister Wouter Bos told MPs on Wednesday.

The minister had earlier reacted angrily after ABN Amro CEO Gerrit Zalm said in public the bank needs capital from the treasury.
Zalm, himself a former finance minister, told reporters on Tuesday he was in talks with Bos on getting ‘a large sum’ to strength ABN Amro’s capital base in order to form a new bank with Fortis Nederland.
‘Gerrit Zalm has nothing to do with taxpayers money. That is up to the cabinet and parliament,’ Bos was reported as saying by the Volkskrant. ‘It is premature to speculate about it in the newspapers.’
Zalm has since apologised, the paper said. The government paid Fortis Holding €16.8bn when it nationalised ABN Amro and Fortis Nederland last year.
Zalm wants a capital injection to ensure the merged bank can stand on its own two feet. He also expects to make a considerable loss on the sale of ABN Amro subsidiary HBU, which has been ordered by Brussels.
Bos told MPs that the new money would be needed to make Zalm’s future plans for the bank a reality.

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