Current status of support for the financial sector during and after the credit crisis

The Netherlands Court of Audit has updated its financial summary of the measures taken by the Dutch government to support the financial sector during and after the 2008 credit crisis.

The Minister of Finance introduced 6 measures to support the financial sector. 2 of them have still not been brought to a conclusion. The government purchased ABN AMRO Bank (formerly the bank and insurance group Fortis-ABN AMRO) and nationalised Volksbank (formerly the bank and insurance group SNS-Reaal) and still has shareholdings in them.

Of the other 4 support measures, 3 have been concluded with a positive outcome for the State (support for ING, capital injection and guarantees provided to several other financial institutions). Only the advance financing of the settlement for Dutch savers with the Icelandic bank Icesave has, on balance, cost the State money.

The government as a shareholder in banks

On 28 October 2020, the State still held a 56.3% interest in ABN AMRO. Since November 2015 several packages of shares in this bank have been sold on the stock exchange. The difference between the cost of this interest and the proceeds from it is currently €17.9 billion negative for the State: €37.8 billion in costs and interest expense versus €19.9 billion in share sales, dividends and interest income. These amounts include last year’s settlement of the interest in Saudi Hollandi Bank (merged with Saudi British Bank) and the earlier sale of the Dutch insurer ASR.

The State still has full ownership of Volksbank (formerly SNS Bank). The State’s expenditure on this bank amounts to €4.1 billion and its income to nearly €3 billion. The negative balance on this interest is therefore €1.1 billion.

All figures are explained further (in Dutch) at