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Dutch Regulator Hires Booz, BlackRock Solutions for Bank Reviews

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Dutch central bank appointed five advisers, including Booz & Co. and BlackRock Solutions, to help conduct a health check of its banks as it prepares to hand over supervision to the European Central Bank.

Booz & Co., the management-consulting firm, was hired for project management and report monitoring, Tobias Oudejans, a spokesman for the Amsterdam-based central bank said today in response to questions from Bloomberg News. BlackRock Inc.’s advisory arm, BlackRock Solutions, is responsible for “operational coordination” of the asset quality review, he said.

The ECB, slated to take over supervision of 128 of the euro-area’s biggest lenders in November, today said it will look for capital shortfalls by assessing more than 3.72 trillion euros ($5.16 trillion) in assets in on-site checks. Staff from the ECB, national supervisors and auditing firms will examine assets from shipping loans to commercial real estate, comprising about 160,000 individual credit files.

The Dutch regulator also appointed audit firms KPMG NV, EY, the company formerly known as Ernst & Young, and Zanders BV to check loan files and review collateral, Oudejans said.

ING Groep NV’s banking arm, Rabobank Groep and ABN Amro Group NV, the three biggest Dutch lenders, will be probed, as well as SNS Reaal NV’s banking unit, Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten, Nederlandse Waterschapsbank NV and Royal Bank of Scotland NV. This means that measured by assets about 90 percent of the Dutch banking industry will fall under direct ECB oversight.

BlackRock Solutions last year assisted the Dutch central bank with a review of commercial real estate loans. Jan Sijbrand, director for banking supervision, said in November he would be surprised if the ECB would find any new issues with real estate assets.

To contact the reporters on this story: Corina Ruhe in Brussels at cruhe@bloomberg.net; Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Fergal O’Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net Zoe Schneeweiss

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