ABN Amro reports net loss on hefty money laundering fine


ABN Amro last month agreed to pay €480mil (RM2.4bil) to Dutch prosecutors to settle a criminal investigation into its lax oversight of money laundering going on through its accounts.

AMSTERDAM: Dutch bank ABN Amro has reported a net loss of €54mil (US$66mil or RM272mil) over the first three months of 2021, as a hefty fine for money laundering outweighed the positive impact of economic recovery in the Netherlands.

ABN Amro last month agreed to pay €480mil (RM2.4bil) to Dutch prosecutors to settle a criminal investigation into its lax oversight of money laundering going on through its accounts.

“Operational performance was in line with previous quarters, ” CEO Robert Swaak said.

“The Dutch economy continues to weather the Covid crisis relatively well.

“We expect a strong economic rebound later this year as lockdown restrictions ease.”

The lender improved its market share of new mortgages amid the ongoing boom in the Dutch housing market, while economic recovery also meant it could release €77mil (RM385mil) from its earlier provisions for bad loans.

Interest income, however, remained under pressure due to low rates and the wind-down of the corporate loan portfolio.

Last year, ABN had said it would end all trade and commodity financing after a series of losses, exiting the United States, Asia, Australia and Brazil, except for clearing operations.

Net loss in the January-March period was roughly in line with analysts’ average expectations in a company-compiled poll.

The lender had reported a loss of €395mil (RM1.97bil) a year ago during the coronavirus outbreak.

ABN AMRO Bank is the third-largest bank in the Netherlands. It was re-established in its current form in 2009, following the acquisition and break-up of the original ABN AMRO by a banking consortium consisting of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Santander Group and Fortis. ─ Reuters

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