ABN Amro is writing to some 15,000 clients who live outside Europe to tell them to close down their accounts, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday.
The group includes Dutch pensioners and is spread across 100 countries. In total, they make up some 10% of ABN Amro’s overseas clients.
Spokesman Robin de Jongh told the paper the bank has two reasons for getting rid of so many customers. Firstly, ABN Amro wants to concentrate on being a Dutch and a European bank, he said.
Secondly, the complex rules surrounding overseas accounts mean there is a risk the bank could be faced with increased costs. ‘That does not fit into our strategy, because we want to be a bank with a modest risk profile,’ he said.
The bank is not currently making a loss on its overseas clients, De Jongh told the paper. Clients will be given six months to find an alternative bank.
One Philippines-based ABN Amro client told the paper he had received a letter from his account manager which explained the situation and then stated: ‘What it means is that you will have to close your account with us. This is not good news but you do need to be told’.
Leo Bossaers, an ABN Amro client for 30 years who is paid four small pensions via the bank, said: ‘With the best will in the world, I really can’t understand how you can get rid of clients like this.’
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