Banks agree to compensate SME clients with interest rate derivatives

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ABN AMRO, ING, SNS and Van Lanschot banks have voted to compensate SMEs who took interest rate derivatives between 2005 and 2009, after a long battle.

Rabobank and Deutsche Bank are still considering their position, reports ANP.

An independent committee of experts has proposed a compensation scheme to return about a fifth of paid and accrued interest on the products, up to a maximum of €100,000. The scheme is expected to cost the banks billions of euros.

Interest rate derivative schemes bought by SMEs were supposed to hedge against a possible rise in interest rates on loans but when interest rates actually fell, some companies got into financial difficulties.

‘This is the first time in history that banks in the Netherlands will pay billions in damages,’ said Pieter Lijesen of Renteswapschadeclaim, a foundation representing the interests of some 14,000 Dutch SMEs that bought these products.

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