ABN AMRO Bank N.V., formerly called ABN AMRO Holding N.V., is an independent bank owned by the Dutch Government and under supervision of the Dutch Central Bank. It recently separated from businesses that had been acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC. ABN AMRO and Fortis Bank Nederland are combining and their integration is awaiting approval from the European Commission and other regulators, expected by the third quarter of 2010. While it has offices in 15 countries, all but 5,000 of its 32,000 employees are in the Netherlands. Its businesses include a private bank focusing on high-net-worth clients in 14 countries and a Commercial & Merchant Banking operation, which is a player in specialist markets such as Energy, Commodities & Transportation and Brokerage, Clearing & Custody.
ABN AMRO Holding N.V. had been a Dutch banking giant owned by a consortium composed of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, Banco Santander SA and the Netherlands government. The group bought the bank in 2007 in what may go down as one of the worst deals in recent banking history.
Amid a seven-month takeover battle between the consortium and financial-services giant Barclays PLC, ABN AMRO lost the confidence of investors and depositors resulting in huge losses. Bank of America Corp. bought Chicago-based LaSalle Bank from ABN AMRO as part of the deal. Deal-related losses contributed to the effective nationalization of RBS by the British government in 2009. Likewise, the mess helped give rise to the crisis of confidence that led to the Dutch Fortis takeover.
The new ABN payment scheme is stricter than the new Netherlands Bankers' Association code of conduct, which says bonuses for board members can't exceed their fixed income by more than 100%. ABN executives' bonuses were reduced 65% and fixed annual salaries set at of EUR600,000. Bonuses were capped at 60% of annual salaries and won't be paid if the bank isn't profitable.