SNS targets Dutch mortgage market, ‘aims to please Brussels’
Nationalised Dutch bank SNS Reaal is launching an onslaught on the Dutch mortgage market by introducing ‘sharper’ prices, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.
Sources have told the FD the aim is to show that SNS can be a driver of mortgage market competition and possibly avoid tough penalties for the state support received via the nationalisation process.
The bank said at the presentation of its first half figures on Thursday it aims for a 6% share of the new mortgage market. It currently has 1.2%, down from over 9% several years ago, and does not feature in the top 10 ranking of cheapest providers, the FD said.
Insiders expect Brussels will demand the financial services group sell off a large part of its activities to offset the impact of the near bankruptcy bail-out. This is likely to include the sale of the insurance activities, as happened to ING.
But by shaking up the mortgage market, SNS Reaal hopes to show Brussels it can irritate the big three – Rabobank, ING and ABN Amro – the FD said.
Consumer organisations and politicians have recently called for more competition in the Dutch mortgage market, pointing out that mortgage interest rates are higher in the Netherlands than in Germany and Belgium.
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