Dutch Parliament to Hold Hearing on Nationalization of SNS Reaal

Dutch lawmakers will question the central bank on its role in supervising SNS Reaal NV, which was nationalized last week.

The inquiry, prompted by a Feb. 3 letter from Henk Nijboer of the Labor Party and Mark Harbers of the Liberal Party VVD, was backed by a majority of lawmakers. Parliament also decided to question the bank’s board of directors and its auditor. The hearing will be preceded by a debate tomorrow between lawmakers and Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The date for the hearing has yet to be set.

“A lot of questions will remain unanswered during the debate,” Wouter Koolmees of the Democrats said in parliament in the Hague today.

The Dutch central bank will attend the inquiry, according to spokeswoman Flore Kraaijeveld. “We are willing to fulfill the wish of parliament to give a clarification in a hearing,” Kraaijeveld said in a telephone interview today.

SNS Reaal, the fourth-largest lender in the Netherlands, was nationalized on Feb. 1 after real-estate losses brought the company to the brink of collapse. The move will cost taxpayers 3.7 billion euros ($5.1 billion) as capital is injected into the bank and an earlier aid package is written down. The Netherlands’ budget deficit will widen by 0.6 percentage points in 2013, Dijsselbloem said on Feb. 1.

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