The central bank of Holland might soon be able to take over troubled financial companies, and sell their shares, assets or liabilities without shareholder approval. Bloomberg says the Dutch Finance Minister is preparing a draft bill, which would provide an alternative to the “financial reorganization option” in the emergency procedure, which has “proven ineffective” according to central bank governor Nout Wellink.
The Dutch finance minister Jan Kees de Jager has called on the Dutch National Bank to formulate a remedial plan within the month, after a commission found their internal supervision wanting.
Investigating the bankruptcy of small Dutch bank, DSB, the Scheltema commission concluded that the DNB should never have issued them a banking licence in 2005. While the financial position of the bank was sound, the report concluded that fundamental improvements in corporate structure had been needed and should have been identified. (DNB aside, the 348-page report blamed unprofessional management and poor governance for DSB’s collapse.)
Responding to the commission’s report, Mr de Jager said: “The internal supervision within DNB needs to be changed, for instance via the supervisory board … the supervisory board needs to exercise more control of DNB’s supervisory tasks. The law needs to be changed and I will change the law.”
The Netherlands’ central bank has just said it wasn’t fully informed by Landsbanki Islands HF and Iceland’s regulator FME on Landsbanki’s financial position. “The evaluation of Mrs. De Moor and Mr Du Perron from Iceland confirms that the information was inadequate,” says the statement (if Google translate can be trusted). The statement comes less than a week after Nout Wellink, Dutch central bank governor, accused the Icelandic government of lying.
Brussels has just approved €6.9bn of ‘urgent rescue aid’ for ABN Amro and Fortis Bank. The cash is destined to separate Fortis from both its Netherland unit and its (2007-acquired) ABN Amro operations. The separated parts will then be merged. The various units have insufficient cash to achieve the reconstruction by themselves.
Meanwhile the Irish government is set to acquire further stakes in its top banks as a result of loans being transferred to the country’s “bad bank”, central bank governor Patrick Honohan said today. “It is pretty clear the government will be acquiring additional equity stakes,” Mr Honohan told an event at Trinity College Dublin.