DSB directors meet after bankrupty claim

The board at independent bank DSB is meeting on Monday morning to discuss its reponse to claims made by the Volkskrant that the bank is on the verge of collapse.

On Monday, the paper said the Dutch central bank is poised to take over the running of DSB which it said is on the verge of bankruptcy. The paper based its claims on finance ministry sources.
The paper said the central bank is about to impose ’emergency rules’ on DSB, which is the equivalent of court protection from creditors.
However, in an apparent backtrack on Monday morning, the paper quoted a DSB spokesman as saying the central bank is not about to get involved, nor is the bank technically bankrupt.
According to Nos tv, the central bank has so far declined to comment. But, finance minister Wouter Bos was at the central bank for talks on Sunday night, Nos says.
The Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday that efforts to persuade another bank to take over DSB have failed.
Both papers says the finance ministry has indicated it will not step in and bail out DSB, which has a balance sheet total of €8bn and is considered too small to rescue.
DSB, started by former policeman Dirk Scheringa, has been hit by a crisis of confidence following claims its salesmen saddled customers with mortgages they could not afford and unnecessary insurance policies.
Thousands of people have taken their money out of the bank since one campaigner for compensation urged them to do so on a tv show.
The FD says Scheringa made the rounds of Rabobank, ING, ABN Amro and Fortis Nederland earlier last week trying to sell DSB for €250m. The paper says ING, ABN Amro and Fortis opted out because of fears that Brussels would object.
Unlisted Rabobank does not want to take over DSB on its own because of the risk of lengthy litigation by clients.


Rabobank is also unhappy the central bank has not stepped in earlier. This spring, Scheringa paid himself dividends of €11m and lent €75m to a foundation which runs Alkmaar’s football club AZ and a new modern art museum.
If DSB does collapse, savers will be entitled to up to €100,000 each under the national guarantee scheme. As the biggest savings bank, a large amount of that money will come from Rabobank.

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