Court gives Dutch bank DSB last chance to find a buyer

17th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch judge on Friday gave ailing bank DSB until Monday morning to find a potential buyer or face being declared bankrupt, a court document said.

The Hague - A Dutch judge on Friday gave ailing bank DSB until Monday morning to find a potential buyer or face being declared bankrupt, a court document said.

"The hearing was postponed to Monday morning 09:00 (0700 GMT) at the latest," the Amsterdam district court said.

On Thursday, the court had given DSB until noon on Friday to convince it that a take-over was a real possibility to save the bank.

But bank boss Dirk Scheringa asked the court to give him until Monday, reported Dutch news agency ANP.

It quoted him as saying a potential buyer -- an American party that owned several banks around the world -- wanted to look over DSB's books this weekend.

DSB was placed under administration at the behest of the Dutch central bank (DNB) on Monday, freezing all its activities and its clients' accounts.

Two independent administrators were appointed, who approached the court with an application for bankruptcy after finding no willing buyers.

The bank, which has about 2,000 employees, has recently been in the news over claims it sold clients insurance policies they did not need and extended mortgages they could not afford, prompting some to lodge claims for damages.

Account holders withdrew some EUR 600 million in two weeks earlier this month, about a sixth of the bank's deposits.

DSB bank, which recorded a net profit of EUR 45.4 million (USD 67 million) in 2008, says on its website that it holds 17 percent of the market for consumer credit in the Netherlands. It has about 350,000 to 400,000 clients, including in Belgium and Germany.

It is also the main sponsor of top Dutch football club AZ Alkmaar.

The government, which has promised an investigation, has announced that account holders will be able to claim back up to EUR 100,000 under a government deposit guarantee system, to be administered by the DNB.

AFP/Expatica

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