ABN Amro wants to pay less dividend, disappointing for the state


CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen proposes a dividend of 1.28 euros per share. That was 1.45 euros a year earlier. Investors react furiously to the bank’s figures: the share price fell by nearly 6 percent ten minutes after the opening of the AEX.

Lower in euro cents

ABN Amro has to deal with a number of regulatory uncertainties and therefore proposes to keep the dividend payment at 62 percent.

“Compared to a lot of other banks, that is a lot,” Van Dijkhuizen told RTL Z. “Only because the profit fell slightly last year, is the dividend in euro cents a little lower, that’s right.”

Below expectations

The quarterly figures of ABN Amro are under the expectation of analysts. Revenues amounted to 2.1 billion euros, 3 percent less than in the same period last year. The profit is depressed by the low interest rates, the bank also had to put more money aside to be able to absorb setbacks in the offshore sector due to the low oil prices.

Throughout 2019, the bank generated a profit of more than two billion euros. The total costs of the bank decreased last year by 100 million euros to 5.1 billion. Van Dijkhuizen expects that decline to continue and that ABN will fall below 5 billion next year.

Screening customer files

Part of those costs, around 400 million euros, goes to putting customer files in order. ABN Amro has been commissioned by De Nederlandsche Bank to screen all five million private customers.

Two thousand people are now working full-time on that within the bank, says Van Dijkhuizen. “That number is expected to rise to three thousand in the course of this year. That is a very large share, of course, one in ten employees is working on this. It is a long-term process.”

The bank expects to have the files in order by 2022.

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