The Dutch banking regulator has signalled it might approve the break-up of ABN Amro, making the Dutch investment bank a more attractive target for bidders, according to the Times .
ABN Amro has been in exclusive talks about a takeover deal with Barclays Bank for the last three weeks, but analysts have suggested other groups could enter the fray if parts of ABN could be divested.
Barclays' exclusivity period is set to end this month, says the paper.
“It might be that a solid bank takes over and decides to restructure,” Nout Wellink, the president of the Dutch central bank - which regulates the Dutch banking market - said.
“Well, let them come to the supervisor, and we will look at it, and when it looks fine there will be no problem whatsoever."
Bankers have suggested Royal Bank of Scotland could afford to pay more for ABN Amro than Barclays if it was allowed to sell off ABN’s Brazilian operations to another lender, such as Spain’s Santander.
AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD disposable wealth fell in the last six months as higher mortgage payments and a reduction in personal savings took their toll, according to consumer data analysts KDB, as quoted in the Guardian.
For the UK as a whole, the average disposable wealth per household dipped from £39,759 in October to £38,929 now.
Recent Bank of England figures show Britons withdrew £14.6bn from the value of their homes in the fourth quarter of last year, continuing the upward trend in equity release which began in 2005.
In March 2007, Britain's personal debt exceeded £1.3trn for the first time, while household borrowing hit a record high last year of £27.2bn as rising property prices pushed up the value of mortgages, which account for 85% of debt.
THE NUMBER of bank insider fraud cases has climbed sharply as criminals seek to exploit the industry’s booming profits and high rates of employee turnover, says the Financial Times.
Steve Wilmott, head of the economic crime department at City of London police, said 35% of his unit’s work now involved “some insider element”, compared with about 10% eight or nine years ago.
The rise was, in part, a consequence of heightened controls put in place by the industry to prevent external attacks, which had caused criminals to look more often for insiders’ help.
“It’s so much harder to tackle a bank from the outside,” he said. “So they get someone on the inside – right from the very low levels to a high level.”
One prosecutor said the amount of insider fraud had become “pretty terrifying”.
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£300bn of liabilities
View from the front row
Transfer from occupational scheme
Appointed by FCA and PSR boards