ABN Amro Group Acquires Dutch Commercial-Banking Assets From RBS

ABN Amro Group NV, the Dutch lender nationalized in 2008, is taking over some of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s commercial-banking activities in the Netherlands to bolster its position in its home country.

The segments include corporate finance, equity brokerage and capital structuring, and employ about 70 people, Amsterdam-based ABN Amro said in an e-mailed statement today. ABN Amro isn’t paying for the businesses, part of a unit that RBS is ending worldwide, said Joop Wijn, an ABN Amro boardmember.

With the transaction, ABN Amro is getting back some of the assets RBS acquired from the Dutch bank’s predecessor five years ago, Wijn said. RBS, Spain’s Banco Santander SA and Fortis bought ABN Amro in 2007 for about 72 billion euros ($95 billion) in the world’s biggest banking takeover. A year later, Fortis ran out of funding, and the Netherlands bought its Dutch banking and insurance units and its stake in ABN Amro Holding NV.

“The people we spoke to said it feels like coming home,” Wijn, who is responsible for commercial banking at ABN Amro, said in a telephone interview. The takeover is a “signicant expansion of ABN’s merchant banking team.”

The Dutch bank anticipates growth, he said.

RBS, Britain’s biggest government-owned lender, said in January it would cut about 3,500 jobs at its investment-banking division and sell or close the unprofitable cash-equities, mergers-advisory and equity-capital-markets divisions.

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