Thursday 20 January 2022

SNS Reaal fallout continues, central bank officials to face MPs

Central bank officials are to be asked to appear before parliament to explain what went wrong with their monitoring of financial services group SNS Reaal.

The two ruling parties – the right-wing VVD and Labour (PvdA) – want to know if the central bank did a good job in supervising SNS Reaal, which was nationalised on Friday after getting into financial difficulty.

The financial services group was bailed out with €800m in 2008 at the start of the financial crisis. The nationalisation is costing the state €3.7bn.

‘If a large bank collapses, it is logical to speak to the regulator,’ VVD parliamentarian Mark Harbers told RTL news.

Property

SNS’s trouble stems from its 2006 takeover of property finance group Bouwfonds, despite having no experience in the sector.

As the fallout from the nationalisation continues, former chief executive Sjoerd van Keulen, who pushed through the Bouwfonds takeover, has resigned from his role as chairman of Holland Financial Centre.

Legal action

Meanwhile, a second attempt to win compensation for shareholders has also begun, Nos television reports. Activitist shareholder Frans Faas is planning to fight the nationalisation on behalf of bond-holders whose investments are now worthless.

The Dutch shareholders association VEB said on Friday it planned to go to court to fight the nationalisation, which means thousands of small shareholders have lost their money.

Dozens of small shareholders have contacted the Telegraaf to express their anger.

Savings

‘Over the past few months I knew SNS was having a hard time but I kept faith and did not sell my shares,’ one said. ‘Now we have lost 10 years of savings which we were planning to use to partly pay off our mortgage.’

Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said shareholders will not be compensated anyway, because they would have lost their money if the bank had been allowed to collapse.

Earlier stories
Pressure mounts for action against former SNS executives
Financial services group SNS Reaal to be nationalised

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