Saturday, April 06, 2013

While Cyprus was happening Netherlands nationalized 4th largest bank - SNS

Reggie Middleton (Boom Bust Blog) had me looking at Irish banks last week. Too bad I missed the stories last week that 3 Dutch banks had major system errors.

From the Real Currencies blog:

So what does this computer malfunction mean? It’s an exercise. And probably not for Holland itself. The Dutch economy is midsized and a good place for a drill for something bigger. Like the US, which is the real target here. Two weeks ago, Chase Manhattan had some problems too: accounts were suddenly drained and set to zero. Interestingly, this was also going on with ING.
I also had missed the JPMorgan Chase story back in mid-March.

Back to the Dutch banks. DutchNews.nl reports: More Problems for ING as online banking fails.

Friday 05 April 2013Internet banking customers were faced with more problems in buying goods and services online on Friday afternoon, following major disruption to the iDEAL online payment system.
'We are working hard to restore normal service,' a spokesman for iDEAL operator Currence told the Financieele Dagblad. 'Some of the problems have been solved but not all.'

Although the iDEAL failure has affected ING, Rabobank and SNS clients, ING users have also been hit by an internet breakdown and could not access their accounts for several hours, various media reported.

Reuters on the Dutch banking disasters: Dutch bank ING's online customers find wrong balance in accounts. Maybe it was the right balance, after they had been Cyprus'd. From the article:
ING said that it had a problem with processing payments on Tuesday night and that balances online appeared incorrect even though the actual balances in the accounts were not affected. It said the problem was not caused by computer hacking.

Separately, rival Dutch lender Rabobank said that it also had problems with its online banking on Wednesday. Rabobank's problems, which were unrelated to those at ING, prevented customers from requesting loans online.
While looking for more details on SNS' woes I learned that the Netherlands had nationalized it, while the Cyprus story was consuming everyone's interest.  That is, everyone who was following those kinds stories.  Certainly not the mainstream U.S. press.  And by the way, I learned of the nationalization from a Malta newspaper - the Independent.
Sunday, 31 March 2013, 09:00 , by Noel GrimaThe Netherlands nationalized its fourth-largest bank on Friday week, injecting €2.2 billion to recapitalise SNS Reaal NV and head off the possibility of a messy collapse that would threaten the country’s fragile economy and financial system.
The total cost to the Dutch government will be at least €3.7 billion, Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a press conference. That’s enough to ensure that The Netherlands’ budget deficit in 2013 will be higher than the three per cent allowed under EU rules, unless the Cabinet – which has already taken a series of unpopular tax hikes and spending cuts – comes up with further austerity measures.
Now this gets curiouser and curiouser because it was this same Dijsselbloem who said Cyprus was a template in an interview with Reuters and the Financial Times.
BRUSSELS | Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:40am EDT
(Reuters) - A rescue programme agreed for Cyprus on Monday represents a new template for resolving euro zone banking problems and other countries may have to restructure their banking sectors, the head of the region's finance ministers said.