The current cabinet is going to pick up the sale of the shares ABN Amro again. Minister Kaag of Finance has said that to the House of Representatives. There was uncertainty among investors what the cabinet wanted with the shares in that bank.
At the previous coalition agreement in 2017, it was agreed to bring the bank back to the market fully as quickly as responsibly. But under the previous Minister Hoekstra, no share in the bank was sold. And in the current coalition agreement, there was no word about the shares.
The current minister now says “not to see any reason” to deviate from the intention to sell ABN Amro in full. She has therefore asked the manager of state shares in the bank, NLFI, to reconsider the conditions under which the state interest can be further reduced. The minister did not want to respond to the question at what time limit that should be done.
Last shares sold in 2017
In 2008, the state took over the Dutch part of ABN Amro for 16.8 billion after the bank got into financial trouble. As of 2015, the shares began to sell gradually. In the following years, the bank‘s share declined from 100 percent to more than 56 percent.
But for the last time, shares were sold in the summer of 2017. Presumably, the poor market conditions and the corona crisis played an important role in this. Moreover, in recent years in politics, the call for not to sell the bank, but to hold on to it like a real people’s bank, in the hands of the state, has sounded increasingly louder.
That does not only apply to ABN Amro, but also to the Volksbank, the former SNS. That bank was nationalized in 2013 and therefore a state-owned bank, and here too, not a single step has been taken for a sale.