Dutch state nationalizes SNS Reaal NV bank

Feb 01, 2013, 2:45 AM EST
Supervising director of the Nederlandsche Bank, Jan Sijbrand (L), and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem (R).

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has nationalized the long-suffering bank and insurance company SNS Reaal.

The bank, the Netherlands fourth-largest, had been given 750 million ($1 billion) in bailout money in 2008 and its operations remained mostly profitable. But as the value of its real estate assets slid, its balance sheet weakened to the point that it was below legal solvency limits.

The bank had warned with increasing frequency of its troubles and was in talks with private parties about a takeover until Thursday.

But Dijsselbloem said in a 20-page written decision published Friday that nationalization was the best option.

Dijsselbloem says shareholders will lose their investments, and subordinate creditors also stand to lose money. Retail deposits are guaranteed up to 100,000.