ABN Amro axes 800 jobs in investment bank shakeup
Dutch bank ABN Amro said it was cutting 800 jobs and ending all trade and commodity financing after as part of a radical restructure after excessive risk-taking led to large losses at its corporate and investment division.
ABN said the unit would consolidate operations to northwest Europe and leave the US, Asia, Australia and Brazil, apart from clearing operations.
“Over the past months we have reviewed Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) in response to ongoing loan losses and disappointing returns, especially on lending activities outside of Europe,” ABN said on Wednesday.
“We are over-exposed to global sectors and we had more than our fair share of exceptional client files”, Robert Swaak told reporters on Wednesday.
CIB write-offs hit €1.4bn in the first half, up from €128m a year earlier on the back of loans to the oil and gas sector, the forecast impact of Covid and a potential fraud case in Germany related to the Wirecard scandal, where ABN and rival ING were both lenders to the collapsed payments group.
ABN said impairments led to an overall net loss of €5m in the second quarter, far less than expectations of €46m, and compared with a profit of €693m in the same period last year.
t added that impairments would further rise in the second half of the year and increased its full-year forecast to €3bn from €2.5bn as it braced for problems among small and midsized business customers as government support schemes and payment holidays were wound down.