Big Dutch banks refuse to rescue DSB

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Dirk Scheringa, the man who gave his name to the collapsing DSB Bank, has not managed to persuade the big Dutch banks to step in with a takeover at the last minute.

At the end of a late-night meeting at the Dutch central bank, Mr Scheringa admitted his last-ditch attempt to save DSB from bankruptcy had failed. Mr Scheringa was hoping a consortium of the ING, Rabobank, ABN Amro, Fortis, SNS and Van Lanschot banks would come to DSB’s rescue. But the big banks concluded that such a construction was unfeasible.

The DSB boss said he is still talking to a possible bidder from the United States who could be interested in a takeover. However, he has just hours to clinch the deal, as the court has set him an already extended deadline of 12.00pm on Friday to come up with a candidate.

Clutching at straws
Mr Scheringen was not prepared to give details of the potential US bidder, but said it was a concern that owns banks worldwide. He described it as a “serious” candidate, but also said the move was “clutching at straws”.

Earlier in the day Mr Scheringa, the man at the centre of the banking and football empire based in the small village of Wognum north of Amsterdam, met Finance Minister Wouter Bos to discuss possibilities of saving the bank. Both described the conversation as constructive. However Mr Bos was not prepared to speculate about the chances of success.

Prior to the meeting the finance miniser said he saw little possibility of DSB avoiding bankruptcy. He has categorically ruled out using taxpayers’ money to bail the bank out. The Dutch central bank, DNB, concluded yesterday that DSB was doomed.

DSB has been brought to its knees by two internet runs on the bank. It faces claims for saddling unsuspecting customers with unaffordable mortgages coupled to unnecessary single-premium insurance policies. The man behind an interest group representing duped mortgage customers sparked the initial run on the bank by calling for account holders to withdraw their savings.


Read more about the Dutch banking drama here, or follow the timeline of events here.