Dutch Government Starts Legal Appeal Against SNS Reaal Ruling

The Netherlands started a legal appeal against a court ruling that may lead to holders of bonds and shares seized during the February rescue of SNS Reaal NV being compensated.

The government filed the case at the Netherlands’ highest court, Geertje Janssen, a spokeswoman for the Dutch Ministry of Finance, said in an e-mailed statement today. The ministry is asking the court to clarify aspects of laws that the government used to seize the assets before an investigation starts into the value of the securities, she said.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem became the first Dutch leader to use powers granted under laws introduced last year allowing failing banks to be unwound. The Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s Enterprise Chamber ruled in July that Dijsselbloem was probably wrong to refuse compensation to investors whose securities were wiped out. The court said it would appoint investigators to define the compensation required.

“The State considers it important that the Supreme Court gives its view on the issue of how certain parts of the law should be explained before the investigation ordered by the Enterprise Chambers begins,” Janssen said.

SNS Reaal was nationalized after real estate losses brought it to the brink of collapse, costing the Netherlands 3.7 billion euros in write-offs and capital injections. The state is also providing another 6.1 billion euros in loans and guarantees.

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