MPs have doubts about ABN Amro privatisation: NRC

A majority of MPs want to retain some form of control over ABN Amro when it is privatised again, the NRC said at the weekend.

The NRC said both the PvdA (Labour) and the Christian Democrats have serious doubts about a full privatisation and that without these parties it will be almost impossible to ensure majority support in parliament.

The paper bases its claims on interviews with MPs and party spokesmen.

Labour and the CDA both want to ensure that ‘reckless behaviour’ by bankers does not lead to a new crisis and want to ensure the state can continue to influence policy.


Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Labour) is due to present his plans for the nationalised banks ABN Amro and SNS Reeal, and insurance group ASR, in the near future.

His own party considers retaining a minority stake is a ‘serious option’, MP Henk Nijboer told the paper.

If the finance ministry retains a stake it will be able to sound the alarm if the bank takes action which conflicts with the national interest, Nijboer said. ‘You don’t want the financial sector to rely on short-term thinking alone,’ he said.

CDA MP Eddy van Hijum told the paper keeping a state minority stake would be ‘sensible’. However, this may make shares less interesting for investors, he said. ‘That is also a consideration. We want to get as much money for the treasury back as possible.’

The ruling VVD, anti-immigration PVV and the D66 Liberal Democrats support full flotation, arguing it will not be good for competition if the state retains a stake.

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