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Royal Bank of Scotland

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This article is about the retail bank. For its holding company, see Royal Bank of Scotland
Not to be confused with Bank of Scotland.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc

Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba

Type Public1

Industry Finance and insurance

Founded 1727

Headquarters Edinburgh, Scotland

Key people Stephen Hester, Group CEO

Finance and insurance

Products Consumer Banking
Corporate Banking

Employees 141,0002

Parent Royal Bank of Scotland Group


References: 1 Wholly-owned subsidiary of RBS Group.

RBS Group total.

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (Scottish Gaelic: Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba[1]) is one of the
retail banking subsidiaries of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, and together with NatWest
and Ulster Bank, provides branch banking facilities throughout the British Isles. Royal Bank of
Scotland has around 700 branches, mainly in Scotland though there are branches in many larger
towns and cities throughout England and Wales. The Royal Bank of Scotland and its parent, the
Royal Bank of Scotland Group, are completely separate from the fellow Edinburgh based bank,
the Bank of Scotland, which pre-dates the Royal Bank of Scotland by 32 years. The Bank of
Scotland was effective in raising funds for the Jacobite Rebellion and as a result, The Royal
Bank of Scotland was established to provide a bank with strong Hanoverian and Whig ties.

• 1 History
○ 1.1 Foundation
○ 1.2 Competition with the Bank of Scotland
○ 1.3 Scottish expansion
○ 1.4 Expansion into England
○ 1.5 Recent history
• 2 Banknotes
○ 2.1 The "Ilay" series (1987)
○ 2.2 Commemorative banknotes
• 3 Branding
• 4 References
• 5 External links

[edit] History
[edit] Foundation
Dundas House, designed by Sir William Chambers and built in 1774 for Sir Lawrence Dundas
and acquired by the bank in 1821.[2] Registered Head Office of the Royal Bank of Scotland
Group in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.
The bank traces its origin to the Society of the Subscribed Equivalent Debt which was set up by
investors in the failed Company of Scotland to protect the compensation they received as part of
the arrangements of the 1707 Acts of Union. The Equivalent Society became the Equivalent
Company in 1724, and the new company wished to move into banking. The British government
received the request favourably as the "Old Bank", the Bank of Scotland, was suspected of
having Jacobite sympathies. Accordingly the "New Bank" was chartered in 1727 as the Royal
Bank of Scotland, with Archibald Campbell, Lord Ilay appointed as its first governor.
In 1728, the Royal Bank of Scotland became the first bank in the world to offer an overdraft
[edit] Competition with the Bank of Scotland
Competition between the Old and New Banks was fierce and centred on the issue of banknotes.
The policy of the Royal Bank was to either drive the Bank of Scotland out of business or take it
over on favourable terms.
The Royal Bank built up large holdings of the Bank of Scotland's notes, which it acquired in
exchange for its own notes, and then suddenly presented them to the Bank of Scotland for
payment. To pay for these notes the Bank of Scotland was forced to call in its loans and, in
March 1728, to suspend payments. The suspension relieved the immediate pressure on the Bank
of Scotland at the cost of substantial damage to its reputation, and gave the Royal Bank a clear
space to expand its own business, although the Royal Bank's increased note issue also made it
more vulnerable to the same tactics.
Despite talk of a merger with the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank did not possess the
wherewithal to complete the deal. By September 1728, the Bank of Scotland was able to start
redeeming its notes again, with interest, and in March 1729, it restarted lending. To prevent
similar attacks in the future, the Bank of Scotland put an "option clause" on its notes, giving it
the right to make the notes interest-bearing while delaying payment for six months; the Royal
Bank followed suit. Both banks eventually decided that the policy they had followed was
mutually self-destructive and a truce was arranged, but it still took until 1751 before the two
banks agreed to accept each other's notes.
[edit] Scottish expansion
The bank opened its first branch office outside Edinburgh in 1783 when the first Glasgow branch
opened. Further branches were opened in Dundee, Rothesay, Dalkeith, Greenock, Port Glasgow
and Leith during the early 1800s.
In 1821, the bank moved from its original head office in Edinburgh's Old Town to Dundas
House, on St Andrew Square in the New Town. The building as seen along George Street forms
the eastern end point of the New Town's central vista. It was designed for Sir Lawrence Dundas
by Sir William Chambers as a Palladian mansion, completed in 1774. An axial banking hall
(Telling Room) added behind the building, designed by John Dick Peddie, was built in 1857. It
features a domed roof, painted blue internally, with gold star-shaped coffers.[2] The banking hall
continues in use as a branch of the bank, and Dundas House remains the bank's registered head
office to this day.
The rest of the 19th century saw the bank pursue mergers with other Scottish banks, mainly in a
response to failing institutions. The assets and liabilities of the Western Bank were acquired
following its collapse in 1857 and in 1864 the Dundee Banking Co. was acquired. By 1910, the
bank had 158 branches and around 900 staff.
In 1969, the bank merged with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland to become the largest
clearing bank in Scotland.
[edit] Expansion into England

Branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Islington, London.

The expansion of the British Empire in the latter half of the 19th century saw the emergence of
London as the world's largest financial centre, attracting the Scottish banks to expand south into
England. The first London branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland opened in 1874. However, the
English banks moved to prevent further expansion by the Scottish banks in England, and after a
government committee was set up to examine the matter, the Scottish banks decided to drop their
expansion plans. An agreement was reached whereby English banks would not open branches in
Scotland; and Scottish banks would not open branches in England outside of London. This
agreement remained in place until the 1960s, although various cross border acquisitions were
The Royal Bank's English expansion plans were resurrected after World War I, when it acquired
various small English banks, including London based Drummonds Bank in 1924; and Williams
Deacon's Bank based in North West England in 1930; and Glyn, Mills & Co. in 1939. The latter
two were merged in 1970 to form Williams and Glyn's Bank; and later rebranded as the Royal
Bank of Scotland in 1985. Following the financial crisis of 2007–2010, the RBS Group has
unveiled plans to resurrect the Williams and Glyn's brand name in preparation for a programme
of divestment of its RBS retail banking business in England and its NatWest equivalent in
Scotland .[3]
[edit] Recent history
Main article: Royal Bank of Scotland Group#History

[edit] Banknotes
Main article: Banknotes of the pound sterling#Royal Bank of Scotland notes

A Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note from 1964

Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, privately owned banks in Great Britain and Ireland
were permitted to issue their own banknotes, and money issued by provincial Scottish[4], English,
Welsh and Irish banking companies circulated freely as a means of payment.[5] While the Bank of
England eventually gained a monopoly for issuing banknotes in England and Wales, Scottish
banks retained the right to issue their own banknotes and continue to do so to this day. The Royal
Bank of Scotland, along with Clydesdale Bank and Bank of Scotland, still prints its own
Notes issued by Scottish banks circulate widely and may be used as a means of payment
throughout Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom; although they do not have the status of
legal tender they are accepted as promissory notes. It should be noted that no paper money is
legal tender in Scotland, even that issued by the Bank of England (which is legal tender in
England and Wales).
[edit] The "Ilay" series (1987)

A £100 Royal Bank of Scotland note

The star-design ceiling of the Edinburgh banking hall which features on the banknotes
The current series of Royal Bank of Scotland notes was originally issued in 1987. On the front of
each note is a picture of Lord Ilay (1682–1761), the first governor of the bank. The image is
based on a portrait of Lord Ilay painted in 1744 by the Edinburgh artist Allan Ramsay.[6]
The front of the notes also include an engraving of the facade of Sir Laurence Dundas's mansion
in St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, which was built by Sir William Chambers in 1774 and later
became the bank's headquarters, the bank's coat of arms and the 1969 arrows logo and branding.
The background graphic on both sides of the notes is a radial star design which is based on the
ornate ceiling of the banking hall in the old headquarters building, designed by J M Dick Peddie
in 1857.[7][8]
On the back of the notes are images of Scottish castles, with a different castle for each
Current issue in circulation are:
• 1 pound note featuring Edinburgh Castle
• 5 pound note featuring Culzean Castle
• 10 pound note featuring Glamis Castle
• 20 pound note featuring Brodick Castle
• 50 pound note featuring Inverness Castle (introduced in 2005)
• 100 pound note featuring Balmoral Castle
[edit] Commemorative banknotes
Occasionally the Royal Bank of Scotland issues special commemorative banknotes to mark
particular occasions or to celebrate famous people. The Royal Bank was the first British bank to
print commemorative banknotes in 1992, and followed with several subsequent special issues.
These notes are much sought-after by collectors and they rarely remain long in circulation.
Examples to date have included:[9][10]
• a £1 note to mark the meeting of the Council of the European Union in Holyrood Palace
during the UK's Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1992)
• a £1 note to mark the 100th Anniversary of the death of Robert Louis Stevenson (1994)
• a £1 note to mark the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell (1997)
• a £20 note for the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (2000)
• a £5 note honouring veteran golfer Jack Nicklaus in his last competitive Open
Championship at St Andrews (2005).
• a £1 note to mark the opening of the Scottish Parliament, depicting the General Assembly
Hall of the Church of Scotland, the temporary home of the parliament, and a diagram of
the floorplan of the new parliament building, designed by Enric Miralles (1999)
[edit] Branding

RBS branding on a branch in Jersey

The RBS Group uses branding developed for the Bank on its merger with the National
Commercial Bank of Scotland in 1969[11]. The Group's logo takes the form of an abstract symbol
of four inward-pointing arrows known as the "Daisy Wheel" and is based on an arrangement of
36 piles of coins in a 6 by 6 square[11], representing the accumulation and concentration of
wealth by the Group[11]. The Daisy Wheel logo was later adopted by RBS subsidiaries Ulster
Bank in Ireland and Citizens Financial Group in the United States.
Since 2006 the brand has moved away from referring to both the Group brand and its retail
banking brand as the "Royal Bank of Scotland", instead using the "RBS" initialism. This is
intended to support the positioning of the bank as a Global financial services player as opposed
to its roots as a national bank. An example of the current branding can be found in the Six
Nations Championship in rugby union, which it sponsors as the RBS 6 Nations. However, "Royal
Bank of Scotland" is still used alongside the RBS initialism, with both appearing on bank
[edit] References
1. ^ Token and symbolic use of the Scottish Gaelic name occurs on some Royal Bank of Scotland
plc buildings and customer stationery such as cheque books. Gaelic is not used on the RBS
website, for contracts or on their banknotes.
2. ^ a b "Dundas Mansion, Edinburgh, RBS branch, headquarters, Scotland". Retrieved 2009-05-21.
3. ^ Dey, Iain (2009-09-13). "RBS to relaunch historic Williams & Glyn's brand after 24 year
absence". London: The Times.
79.ece. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
4. ^ "Bank of Scotland 'family tree'". HBOS History. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
5. ^ "British Provincial Banknotes". pp. 1–6.
Retrieved 2007-10-08.
6. ^ "Allan Ramsay: Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, 1682 - 1761. Statesman". National
Galleries of Scotland - Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 2008. Retrieved
7. ^ a b "Our Banknotes - The Ilay Series". The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. 2008.
Retrieved 2010-01-20.
8. ^ "Dundas Mansion, Edinburgh". Edinburgh Architecture. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
9. ^ "Royal Bank Commemorative Notes". Rampant Scotland. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
10.^ "Scottish Parliament Commemorative Bank Note". Rampant Scotland. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
11.^ a b c | About Us| Our History | Exhibition Feature | Building the Brand

[edit] External links

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First on the Move: Our Six Decades of Mobile Banking

Our new Helensburgh-based mobile bank not only offers the most
modern customer facilities that The Royal Bank of Scotland’s mobile
units can afford, but also boasts an unbroken pedigree of 60 years. For it was National Bank
of Scotland, a constituent company of The Royal Bank of Scotland, which introduced the
world’s very first commercial mobile banking service in November 1946.

The origins of mobile banking can be traced back to the Second World War, when field cash
offices provided all units and individual officers with the relevant currency of the country in
which they were based and received money from army post offices and officers’ shops. One
such unit, originally set up in a tent, is known to have been housed in a three-ton truck from
which army banking business was conducted. Similarly the United States army operated pay
offices from vans, one of which, a Studebaker, was purchased by National Bank of Scotland
to set up its first mobile banking service

National Bank of Scotland, founded in Edinburgh in 1825, had an

extensive network of branches spread over a wide geographical
area. One problem it faced was how to provide banking facilities in
remote areas, where the population was too scattered to warrant
the establishment of a sub-office. Late in 1946 the idea of
introducing a ‘Travelling Bank’ on the Isle of Lewis was suggested
to serve, in particular, the island’s crofter weavers who previously had to take a day off work
to use the National Bank branch in Stornoway. Accordingly the mobile bank, based at
Stornoway branch under the charge of the local agent Donald McIver, went into service on
Tuesday 5 November 1946. The Studebaker van, converted for the bank’s own use and to its
own design by Kirkness & Innes of Eskbank, had three desks with adjustable swivel seats,
shelving, cash boxes ‘and many of the other appurtenances of normal bank offices’. The van
was on the road for four days one week and five the next and travelled, on average, some
fifty miles per day.

Much to the delight of the bank’s directors, the new service

immediately aroused great interest from the national media. The
Daily Record noted that the new bank was ‘striking evidence’ of the
upturn in the economic fortunes of the Isle of Lewis, the Bankers’ Magazine reasoned that
‘this development follows only in logical succession to the efforts of banks to bring their
services closer to the banking public’ while The Scotsman light-heartedly stated that ‘Banks
which move, even an inch or two, tend to arouse misgivings. But a bank which is perpetually
migratory appears almost an incredible phenomenon’. The favourable reaction was
encapsulated by The Scottish Bankers Magazine which wrote ‘we are not surprised to learn
that the innovation has been greeted with a widespread enthusiasm.’

The ‘extremely satisfactory’ progress made by the Stornoway-

based service led National Bank of Scotland to launch a second
mobile banking service (based in the Fort William area) on 8
November 1947. Encouraged by the National Bank’s success,
several other Scottish banks subsequently introduced their own
services. The idea also spread to England where mobile caravan
trailer units were used by banks, including the Royal Bank’s subsidiary Williams Deacon’s
Bank, at exhibitions and agricultural shows.

News of the mobile bank soon reached an international audience too and National Bank of
Scotland received enquiries from banks in Africa, Europe, India, Israel, New Zealand and the
United States of America, all eager to investigate the possibilities of starting their own
services. Justifiably proud of this new Scottish export one contemporary commentator
observed that ‘ seems only fitting that Scotland which has done so much to give banking
stability and integrity should at this later day give it mobility as well’.

In 1953 The Royal Bank of Scotland itself introduced a mobile bank

service using luxurious caravan units of the kind dispatched by its
subsidiary Williams Deacon’s Bank to agricultural shows in England.
The vehicle comprised a main office and a manager’s room and, on
its regular itinerary, called at twenty-six places as far apart as
Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Inverness. Meanwhile, in 1949, National
Bank of Scotland had replaced the Studebaker vans with custom-built vehicles using an
Austin chassis, which in turn were replaced by Albion diesels in 1956. The Albion had been
brought into service because it was a heavier, more powerful vehicle than the Austin and
was felt to be better suited to the terrain of Lewis. This new mobile bank sported a
distinguished livery of silver grey and St Andrew’s blue and was decorated on either side
with the bank’s coat-of-arms.

National Bank of Scotland amalgamated with Commercial Bank of Scotland (established

1810), to form National Commercial Bank of Scotland, in 1959. The new bank remained fully
committed to its mobile banking facilities, extending the service to Skye, Wester Ross, the
Uists and Speyside during the early 1960s. These were welcome developments in a period
when the economic future of the Highlands was increasingly uncertain. Indeed, National
Commercial rightly claimed that ‘it must be an encouragement to many to know that, at a
time when the Beeching cloud hangs over the area, Scotland’s leading Bank has sufficient
faith in the future to open up new services’. Moreover, in 1962, the bank also introduced a
mobile service with a difference, a boat bank that served the islands around Orkney.

The late 1960s were a time of great change in the banking industry
in Scotland. In 1969, National Commercial Bank of Scotland
amalgamated with The Royal Bank of Scotland to form The Royal
Bank of Scotland Ltd. The Royal Bank had itself begun a regular
mobile bank service (as opposed to trailers at agricultural shows) in
several areas, including the counties of Ross and Sutherland, during
the decade. Services were now no longer restricted to the Highlands and one van even
operated in the Edinburgh area. Furthermore a flying service, using the bank’s small air
carrier subsidiary, Loganair (sold in 1983), was introduced to increase banking facilities in
the Orkney Islands. This service superseded the boat bank, which sailed for the last time in

During the 1970s customised Ford Transits replaced the Bedford

vans which had been used as mobile units since the mid-1960s. In
September 1976, the first official driver of the mobile bank, Kenny
Smith, retired after twenty-nine accident-free years of driving the
Stornoway service. The mobile bank continued to develop with
some fourteen regular routes and twenty-three services in
operation. By 1982 the Royal Bank had also extended the service outside of Scotland,
through its Williams & Glyn’s subsidiary, with the establishment of a mobile bank on Jersey
in the Channel Islands. The 1990s witnessed further changes to the vans themselves with
the introduction, in 1991, of two new environmentally-friendly vehicles with low emission

Today, nearly sixty years after the introduction of the first mobile
bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland is one of the few UK banks that
offer a mobile bank service. This service operates in the rural parts
of Scotland by taking banking facilities service to many of our
customers who do not have access to a Royal Bank branch. There
are now fourteen mobile banks in operation, based at branches in
Ayr, Bowmore, Brodick, Grantown-on-Spey, Helensburgh, Inverurie, Kyle, Lanark,
Lochboisdale, Oban, Perth, Portree, Stornoway and Ullapool. The vans continue to provide a
vital service to the communities they serve and undoubtedly live up to a prophecy made
during the 1950s: ‘What the future holds for this type of banking service ... we are unable to
say, but, undoubtedly, we are providing something which is very worthwhile and which may,
as the years go by and our presence becomes more widely known, develop, as many of the
past innovations of the Royal Bank have done, into a necessary, everyday, expected service
of the Bank’.
Visit Our Heritage for more information on the history of the Royal Bank of

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It has been suggested that ABN AMRO Group be merged into this article or
section. (Discuss)

ABN AMRO Holding N.V.

Private (Partly in temporary

public ownership)

Industry Financial services

Founded 1991

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Key people Gerrit Zalm (CEO)

Asset management
Commercial banking
Products Investment banking
Private banking
Retail banking
▼ €2.6 billion (2009)[1]

Profit ▼ €2.7 billion (2009)[2]

Total assets ▼ €912 billion (June 2008)[3]

Owner(s) Kingdom of the Netherlands

Employees 31,000(2010)[4]

Subsidiaries ABN AMRO Bank N.V.


ABN AMRO Bank N.V. is a Dutch bank with headquarters in Amsterdam. It was re-established
in 2009 after an upheaval that saw it acquired and broken up by a banking consortium led by
Royal Bank of Scotland Group and then, to stop it from failing, was in part nationalized by the
Dutch Government.
The bank has a long history of acquisitions and mergers that dates back to 1765. ABN AMRO
was created in 1991 as a merger between Algemene Bank Nederland (ABN) and Amsterdam and
Rotterdam Bank (AMRO). By 2007 ABN AMRO was the second largest bank in the
Netherlands and eight largest banks in Europe by assets. At that time the magazine The Banker
and Fortune Global 500 placed the bank at number 15th[5] in the list of worlds biggest banks and
it had operations in 63 countries, with over 110,000 employees.
In 2007 the bank was acquired, in what was at that time the biggest bank takeover in history, by
a consortium made up of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Fortis bank and Banco Santander,
of which the first two got into serious trouble as a result of the takeover. The large amount of
debt that had been created to fund the takeover had depleted the banks reserves just at the time
the Financial crisis of 2007–2010 started. As a result the Dutch government took over and
nationalized the Dutch parts of the operations which had primarily been allocated to Fortis to
stop it failing. The UK government took effective control over the divisions allocated to RBS
due to its financial bail-out of the Scottish bank. The remaining parts of ABN AMRO held by the
consortiums RFS Holdings B.V., notably the overseas businesses, were merged with RBS,
Santander, sold off or shut down.
The Dutch government appointed former Dutch finance minister Gerrit Zalm as CEO to
restructure and stabilise the bank and in February 2010 the bank was split into two separate
organizations. One owned by the Dutch government called ABN AMRO Bank N.V. and the
other owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group named The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V.[6]
On this date the Dutch owned businesses legally demerged from those owned by RBS.[8] The
Dutch government owned the ABN AMRO name and used it for the parts of the bank they
purchased while other companies within the Group were renamed or closed down. [9]
In 2010 ABN AMRO Group the owner of ABN AMRO Bank was created by merging the former
sections of ABN AMRO Nederland, ABN AMRO Private Banking, together with Fortis Bank
Nederland as well as formerly Fortis owned private bank MeesPierson and International
Diamond and Jewelry Group. This started operating under the name ABN AMRO on 1 July
2010 at which time Fortis bank name officially ended. The Dutch government has said it would
remain state owned at least until 2011 after which it would consider a public stock market listing
for the new bank.

• 1 History
○ 1.1 Early years
○ 1.2 Reaching a cross roads
○ 1.3 Acquisition battle
○ 1.4 Acquisition and break up
○ 1.5 Impact of the 2008 Financial crisis
 1.5.1 RBS
 1.5.2 Fortis
 1.5.3 Disposals and renaming
 1.5.4 Dutch government ownership
○ 1.6 Goldman Sachs SEC Lawsuit
• 2 Bank Operations
• 3 Financial data
• 4 Alumni
• 5 Trivia
○ 5.1 Name Usage and spelling
○ 5.2 Logo and Style
• 6 See also
• 7 References
• 8 External links

[edit] History
[edit] Early years
In 1824 King William I established the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (NHM) a trading
company to revive trade and financing of the Dutch East Indies and it would become one of the
primary ancestors of ABN AMRO. The NHM merged with the Twentsche Bank in 1964 to form
Algemene Bank Nederland (ABN). In the same year the Amsterdamsche Bank which was
established in 1871 merged with the Rotterdamsche Bank which was established in 1873 (as part
of merger that included Determeijer Weslingh & Zn. from 1765) to form AMRO Bank. In 1991
ABN and AMRO Bank agreed to merge to create ABN AMRO.
Through these mergers and acquisitions, ABN AMRO gained a large number of overseas
companies and branches. From the NHM organisation it had a significant branch network in Asia
and the middle east. One of these the Saudi Hollandi Bank which was the old NHM Jeddah
branch and in which ABN AMRO still had a 40% stake, caused questions in the dutch
parliament from the political Party for Freedom. Another the Hollandsche Bank-Unie (HBU),
which was created from the merger of the Hollandsche Bank voor de Middellandsche Zee
(HBMZ) and the Hollandsche Zuid-Amerika Bank in 1933, gave ABN AMRO an extensive
network of branches in South and Central America. In 1979 ABN expanded into North America
with the acquisition of Chicago based LaSalle National Bank.
After the merger of ABN and AMRO Bank in 1991, ABN AMRO continued to grow through a
number of further acquisitions, including in 1996 the purchase of suburban Detroit based
Standard Federal Bank and in 2001 the Michigan National Bank both of which we rebranded as
LaSalle National bank.
ABN Amro purchased The Chicago Corporation, an American securities and commodities
trading and clearing corporation in fall 1995. [10]
Other major acquisitions included the Brazilian bank Banco Real in 1998 and the Italian bank
Antonveneta in 2006. It was also involved in the controversial acquisition of the Dutch local
government mortgage and building development organisation, the Bouwfonds [11] in 2000. ABN
AMRO sold the Bouwfonds as a going concern in 2006.
[edit] Reaching a cross roads
ABN AMRO had come to a crossroads in the beginning of 2005. The bank had still not come
close to its own target of having an ROE that would put it among the top 5 of its peer group, a
target that the CEO, Rijkman Groenink had set upon his appointment in 2000. From 2000 until
2005, ABN AMRO's stock price stagnated.
Financial results in 2006 added to concerns about the bank's future. Operating expenses
increased at a greater rate than operating revenue, and the efficiency ratio deteriorated further to
69.9%. Non-performing loans increased considerably year on year by 192%. Net profits were
only boosted by sustained asset sales.
There had been some calls, over the prior couple of years, for ABN AMRO to break up, to
merge, or to be acquired. On February 21, 2007, the call came from the TCI hedge fund which
asked the Chairman of the Supervisory Board to actively investigate a merger, acquisition or
breakup of ABN AMRO, stating that the current stock price didn't reflect the true value of the
underlying assets. TCI asked the chairman to put their request on the agenda of the annual
shareholders' meeting of April 2007.
Events accelerated when on March 20 the British bank Barclays and ABN AMRO both
confirmed they were in exclusive talks about a possible merger.
[edit] Acquisition battle
On March 28, ABN AMRO published the agenda for the shareholders' meeting of 2007. It
included all items requested by TCI, but with the recommendation not to follow the request for a
breakup of the company.[12]
ABN AMRO Insurance headquarters in Zwolle.

However, on April 18, another British bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) contacted ABN
AMRO to propose a deal in which a consortium of banks, including RBS, Belgium's Fortis, and
Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano (now Banco Santander) would jointly bid for ABN
AMRO and thereafter break up the different divisions of the company between them. According
to the proposed deal, RBS would take over ABN's Chicago operations, LaSalle, and ABN's
wholesale operations; while Banco Santander would take the Brazilian operations and Fortis, the
Dutch operations.
On April 23 ABN AMRO and Barclays announced the proposed acquisition of ABN AMRO by
Barclays. The deal was valued at €67 billion. Part of the deal was the sale of LaSalle Bank to
Bank of America for €21 billion.[13]
Two days later the RBS-led consortium brought out their indicative offer, worth €72 billion, if
ABN AMRO would abandon its sale of LaSalle Bank to Bank of America. During the
shareholders' meeting the next day, a majority of about 68% of the shareholders voted in favour
of the breakup as requested by TCI.[14]
The sale of LaSalle was seen as obstructive by many: as a way of blocking the RBS bid, which
hinged on further access to the US markets, in order to expand on the success of the group's
existing American brands, Citizens Bank and Charter One. On May 3, 2007, the Dutch Investors'
Association (Vereniging van Effectenbezitters), with the support of shareholders representing up
to 20 percent of ABN's shares, took its case to the Dutch commercial court in Amsterdam, asking
for an injunction against the LaSalle sale. The court ruled that the sale of LaSalle could not be
viewed apart from the current merger talks of Barclays with ABN AMRO, and that the ABN
AMRO shareholders should be able to approve other possible merger/acquisition candidates in a
general shareholder meeting. However in July 2007, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that Bank of
America's acquisition of LaSalle Bank Corporation could proceed. Bank of America absorbed
LaSalle effective October 1, 2007.
ABN AMRO in Sydney.

On July 23 Barclays raised its offer for ABN AMRO to €67.5bn, after securing investments from
the governments of China and Singapore, but it was still short of the RBS consortium's offer.
Barclay's revised bid was worth €35.73 a share — 4.3% more than its previous offer. The offer,
which included 37% cash, remained below the €38.40-a-share offer made the week before by the
RFS consortium. Their revised offer didn't include an offer for La Salle bank, since ABN AMRO
could proceed with the sale of that subsidiary to Bank of America. RBS would now settle for
ABN's investment-banking division and its Asian Network.
[edit] Acquisition and break up
On July 30 ABN AMRO withdrew its support for Barclays’ offer which was lower than the offer
from the group led by RBS. While the Barclays offer matched ABN AMRO’s “strategic vision,”
the board couldn’t recommend it from “a financial point of view.” The US$98.3bn bid from
RBS, Fortis and Banco Santander was 9.8% higher than Barclays’ offer.
Barclays Bank withdrew its bid for ABN AMRO on 5 October, clearing the way for the RBS-led
consortium's bid to go through, along with its planned dismemberment of ABN AMRO. Fortis
would get ABN AMRO's Dutch and Belgian operations, Banco Santander would get Banco Real
in Brazil, and Banca Antonveneta in Italy and RBS would get ABN AMRO's wholesale division
and all other operations, including those in Asia.
On October 9, the RFS consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland, bidding for control of ABN
AMRO, formally declared victory after shareholders, representing 86 percent of the Dutch
bank’s shares, accepted the RFS group’s €70bn offer. This level of acceptance cleared the way
for the consortium to take formal control. The group declared its offer unconditional on October
10, when Fortis completed its €13bn rights issue. Thus the financing required for the group’s
€38-a-share offer, which included €35.60 in cash, was realised. Rijkman Groenink, Chairman of
the Managing Board of ABN AMRO, who heavily backed the Barclays offer, decided that he
would step down.[15]
[edit] Impact of the 2008 Financial crisis
[edit] RBS
Further information: Royal Bank of Scotland Group#2008-2009 financial crisis

ABN AMRO in Dubai.

On 22 April 2008 RBS announced the largest rights issue in British corporate history, which
aimed to raise £12billion in new capital to offset a writedown of £5.9billion resulting from the
bad investments and to shore up its reserves following the purchase of ABN AMRO.
On 13 October 2008, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a UK government bailout
of the financial system. The Treasury would infuse £37 billion ($64 billion, €47 billion) of new
capital into Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Lloyds TSB and HBOS Plc, to avert financial
sector collapse. This resulted in a total government ownership in RBS of 58%.
As a consequence of this rescue the chief executive of the group Sir Fred Goodwin offered his
resignation, which was duly accepted.
In January 2009 it was announced that RBS had made a loss of £28bn of which £20bn was due
to ABN AMRO.[16] At the same time the government converted their preference shares to
ordinary shares resulting in a 70% ownership of RBS.[17]
[edit] Fortis
Further information: Fortis (finance)#ABN AMRO and its aftermath
ABN AMRO headquarters in Amsterdam.

On July 11, 2008, the CEO of Fortis, Jean Votron, stepped down after the ABN AMRO deal had
depleted Fortis' capital.[18][19][20] The total worth of Fortis, as reflected by its stock value, was at
that time a third of what it had been before the acquisition, and just under the value it had paid
merely for the Benelux activities of ABN AMRO.[21]
Fortis announced in September 2008 that it intended to sell its stake in RFS Holdings, which
includes all activities that have not been transferred yet to Fortis (i.e. everything except Asset
[edit] Disposals and renaming
In 2008, RFS Holdings completed the sale of a portfolio of private equity interests in 32
European companies managed by AAC Capital Partners to a consortium comprising Goldman
Sachs, AlpInvest Partners and CPP for $1.5 billion through a private equity secondary market
In September 2009, RBS rebranded the Morgans sharedealing business in Australia as RBS
Morgans in September 2009.[26] This followed the rebranding of the ABN AMRO Australia unit
to RBS Australia in March that year.[27]
On 10 February 2010, RBS announced that branches of the businesses it owned in India [28] and
the United Arab Emirates were to be rebranded under its name.[29]. HSBC Holdings said it would
buy the Indian retail and commercial banking businesses of Royal Bank of Scotland for $1.8b.[30]

[edit] Dutch government ownership

Continuing problems in the Fortis operations in the 2008 financial crisis led to the Dutch state
obtaining full control (for €16.8bn) of all Fortis operations in the Netherlands, including those
parts of ABN-AMRO then belonging to Fortis. The Dutch government and the De
Nederlandsche Bank president have announced the merger of Dutch Fortis and ABN AMRO
parts will proceed while the bank is in state ownership.[32]
In January 2009, it was reported that shareholders in Belgium-based Fortis plan to file a lawsuit
against the Belgian government over its handling of the carve-up of the troubled financial
services group and are also considering a case against the Dutch government. The initial
outcome of the lawsuit favours the Dutch state.
On 9 February 2010, the businesses of ABN AMRO acquired by the Dutch state were legally
demerged from the RBS acquired businesses. This created two separate banks within ABN
AMRO Holdings, The Royal Bank of Scotland and the new entity named ABN AMRO Bank,
each licensed separately by the Dutch Central Bank [33].
[edit] Goldman Sachs SEC Lawsuit
Main article: Goldman Sachs#SEC civil fraud lawsuit, filed in April 2010

ABN Amro was mentioned by the SEC in court fillings when it sued Goldman Sachs and one of
Goldman's CDO traders on April 16, 2010. The SEC alleges that ABN Amro was on the wrong
side of the CDO instruments Goldman was creating and that Goldman defrauded both IKB (a
german bank) and ABN-Amro in failing to disclose that the CDO's ABN Amro was purchasing
were not assembled by a third party, but instead through the guidance of a hedge fund that was
counterparty in the CDS transaction. This hedge fund, Paulson & Co., stood to reap great
financial benefit in the event of default.[34]
[edit] Bank Operations
ABN AMRO Bank has offices in 15 countries, but all but 5,000 of its 32,000 employees are in
the Netherlands. Businesses include a private bank focusing on high-net-worth clients in 14
countries and a commercial and merchant banking operation, which is a player in specialist
markets such as energy, commodities and transportation as well as brokerage, Clearing &
[edit] Financial data
Financial Data

Years 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

€18.280 €18.793 €19.793 €23.215 €27.641

Sales net of interest
mn mn mn mn mn

€4.719m €5.848m €6.104m €6.705m €6.360m

n n n n n

Net Result Share of the €2.267m €3.161m €4.109m €4.443m €4.780m

group n n n n n

Staff 105,000 105,439 105,918 98,080 135,378

Source: OpesC'
[edit] Alumni
Former employees of ABN AMRO:
• Vladimer Gurgenidze, Former Prime Minister of Georgia, former employee of

[edit] Trivia
[edit] Name Usage and spelling
The bank refers to itself as ABN AMRO in all capitals, based on an acronym of the two
originating banks names Algemene Bank Nederland and the Amsterdam and Rotterdam Bank, in
the second case the first two letters of each town make up the AMRO. However, it is pronounced
so that each letter of 'ABN' is said separately and 'Amro' is said as a word and this is the reason a
number some news media spell the name as 'ABN Amro'. In written text about the bank both
versions have been used although the bank itself uses only the uppercase version. In spoken texts
the bank is often referred to as just ABN bank.
[edit] Logo and Style
The green and yellow shield logo was designed by the design house Landor Associates for ABN
AMRO in 1991 and has been used as a brand for the bank and all its subsidiaries.
[edit] See also

• History of banking
• Primary dealers
• European Financial Services Roundtable