Credit crisis changes Dutch banking
More Dutch choose smaller banks as large lenders like Fortis fall on the stock market.26 September 2008
AMSTERDAM -- Large Dutch banks hurt by the credit crisis are now competing for the savings of ordinary thrifty Dutch citizens.
According to statistics from the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), the Dutch had a combined EUR 259 billion on private savings accounts in July 2008, a number that grew consistently despite the financial crisis.
The trend marks a change from the 1990s, when the Dutch stock exchange increased at the expense of traditional saving.
But the internet bubble burst in 2001 and many ordinary Dutch lost money. Then, more banks, including smaller foreign banks from countries like Turkey and Morocco, entered the local market.
They attracted new customers by raising their interest rates on savings accounts.
"We grew explosively", Klaas Wilting, spokesman for DSB Bank, one of the small new banks, tells Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
"It began in 2006, increased beyond our wildest expectations in 2007 and continued steadily after the unrest started on the global credit market in July 2007.
Last year, the flood of daily applications for new savings accounts massively superseded our capacity to process them on time".
Most new banks like DSB were online only, reducing their expenses such as offices and staff.
Traditional Dutch banks refuse to say how many customers they lost as more new small banks entered the Dutch market.
They will probably lose more customers with Belgian-Dutch Fortis Bank’s recent stock falling.
Fortis took over the biggest bank of the Netherlands in October 2007, ABN AMRO, but is losing money.
[dpa / Expatica]