ABN Amro quits trade and commodity financing in corporate bank overhaul

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – ABN Amro (ABNd.AS) is to end all of its trade and commodity financing operations in a shift that will see 800 jobs go at the Dutch bank as it calls time after a string of losses in those businesses. In a massive overhaul of its activities, ABN Amro said on Wednesday its corporate bank will retreat to northwest European markets, exiting the United States, Asia, Australia and Brazil, except for clearing operations. The restructuring, will affect around 45% of the corporate bank’s client loans, worth 18 billion euros ($21 billion) and follows several attempts to increase the profitability and reduce risks at ABN’s corporate bank after difficulties in the offshore energy markets saddled it with losses on its loans. “We will serve clients in segments where we can achieve scale, so we will focus on the Netherlands and Northwest Europe, where we will invest and grow,” Chief Executive Robert Swaak said. Several other European banks have been rethinking their trade and commodity finance operations, including Natixis (CNAT.PA) and BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), hit by losses in energy trading and a drive to focus on greener finance initiatives. BALLOONING IMPAIRMENTS Write-offs at ABN’s corporate bank ballooned to 1.4 billion… continue reading

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