Gloom looms over ABN Amro staff

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A mood of grim resignation sets in the Dutch bank's head office as 7,000 employees may lose their jobs.

29 April 2008

THE NETHERLANDS - De Volkskrant describes a mood of grim resignation among the staff at the ABN Amro's head office in Amsterdam following the latest news on its takeover by a consortium including the Royal Bank of Scotland. According to the Financial Times, the merger of the two companies' corporate banking operations will result in 7,000 job losses.

"News like this doesn't get to me anymore," says one employee impassively. "My whole department has already been declared surplus to requirements."

The paper thinks this stoicism is due to the fact that staff at ABN Amro already had very little faith in RBS.

"The Scots are just like Banco Santander", complains another manager "They grab what's of value to them and throw the rest away."

But not everyone is convinced that disaster is imminent.

While one union leader calls the news "worrying" and says that if the latest figures come on top of cutbacks mentioned previously "it could well be a dramatic development".

Another union leader sees more than a glimmer of hope: "For corporate banking ... the impact on the Netherlands can't be major ... RBS has just paid billions of euros for these people ... to throw them out now would mean that they've invested that money for nothing ... it really would be a case of penny wise, pound foolish."

[Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica]

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