Fortis to disappear from Netherlands
The brand name of Fortis will be dropped as it now has a negative association, says chairman of the bank’s board.15 October 2008
THE NETHERLANDS -- Fortis will disappear as a brand name from the Netherlands, the chairman of the bank's board told Dutch BNR News Radio on Tuesday.
Chairman Jan van Rutte said: "We will have to let go of the brand name Fortis." He added that the name now has a negative association, which might affect the bank adversely.
Van Rutte did not say whether Fortis will continue under the name of ABN Amro.
Two weeks ago, the Dutch government nationalised Fortis Netherlands in a joint action with the Belgian government and French bank BNP Paribas in order to prevent the collapse of Fortis bank.
More than half of Fortis Netherlands consists of ABN Amro holding acquired in 2007. This has raised speculation that the Fortis brand name would be rolled into ABN Amro.
But Van Rutte says that Fortis and ABN Amro will only continue under a single name if the integration of ABN Amro and Fortis is successfully implemented. It is not certain that ABN Amro will be the new name, he added.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Wouter Bos announced the former chairman of merchant bank NIBC, Michael Enthoven, has been appointed to the Fortis board of governors. He will replace Herman Verwilst.
Enthoven who is is currently working for the public prosecutor's office, resigned from NIBC after a takeover of Iceland's Kaupthing Bank fell through.
According to the finance minister, Enthoven will receive the same salary at Fortis as he did as a public prosecutor. Bos says the bank's bonus policies will be scrapped now that the state is the majority shareholder.
[dpa / Radio Netherlands / Expatica]