Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector
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Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector

Edited by François-Charles Laprévote, Joanna Gray and Francesco De Cecco

The Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector brings together experts in state aid and in financial regulation, drawn from legal academia, legal practice, economics, and from the EU and EEA institutions to shed light on this relationship. The editors and expert contributors do this by elucidating key concepts that underpin the application of state aid law to banks, and by considering specific aspects of the interface between state aid and financial regulation. The Research Handbook's analysis is complemented by a number of key country-based case studies, and by a concluding section which takes stock of the Banking Union’s package of legislative/regulatory reforms and reflects on the possible future role of state aid in this sector.
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Chapter 13: State intervention in the banking sector of the Netherlands

Bart P.M. Joosen

Abstract

This chapter discusses State aid to the Dutch financial sector, highlighting the most significant case of 2008. The banking consortium bidding to acquire ABN AMRO was subject to material constraints caused by the financial crisis. When one of the consortium members, the Belgian-Dutch conglomerate Fortis, was unable to complete the transaction due to a shortage of financing, this caused an immediate and severe crisis within ABN AMRO. Given the potentially severe consequences of that bank’s collapse on the Dutch economy, the government provided emergency liquidity assistance, nationalizing parts of the bank and becoming the new shareholder. The European Commission assessed compliance of that assistance with the prevailing State aid rules. The discussion of the ABN AMRO case demonstrates that State aid is permitted in exceptional circumstances, to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, albeit with limitations and strict conditions.

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