Brussels, 22 February 2013
State aid: Commission temporarily approves rescue aid for SNS REAAL
The European Commission has temporarily approved under EU State aid rules a number of measures that the Dutch State intends to take in favour of SNS REAAL and its subsidiaries. SNS REAAL will be recapitalised by EUR 300 million EUR and will also receive a bridge loan of EUR 1.1 billion. At the same time, SNS REAAL's banking subsidiary – SNS Bank – will receive a recapitalisation of EUR 1.9 billion. The Commission's approval of the support measures is conditional on the presentation within six months of a restructuring plan from the date of the decision. The Commission will take a final position on the support granted on the basis of this restructuring plan.
The Commission found that the recapitalisation of SNS REAAL is necessary to preserve the stability of the Dutch financial system, in line with the Commission's guidelines on state aid for banks during the crisis. Indeed, the measures were required to allow SNS REAAL and its subsidiaries to comply with minimum capital requirements.
The intervention by the Dutch State leads to far-reaching and appropriate burden sharing by shareholders and hybrid capital holders. In fact, through the nationalisation all capital holders of SNS REAAL and SNS Bank – including hybrid capital holders – are fully participating in the losses of SNS REAAL. State aid will only be used to the extent that all existing capital is insufficient.
SNS REAAL is a Dutch bank insurance holding with a banking and insurance subsidiary, named respectively SNS Bank and REAAL Insurance. At the end of the first semester of 2012, SNS REAAL's group balance sheet amounted to EUR 134 billion.
The banking subsidiary is the number four in the Netherlands, while REAAL Insurance is number three and five in respectively life and non-life insurance.
In December 2008, the Dutch State subscribed to EUR 750 million of core tier 1 securities to recapitalise SNS REAAL following problems in its property finance division. The aid was limited in relative terms and did not require under the Crisis State aid rules a restructuring plan but only a viability review. In January 2010 the Commission approved the recapitalisation (see IP/10/82) after SNS REAAL had repaid EUR 185 million in 2009. However the difficulties of the property finance division could not be overcome by the company and following further write downs on the property finance portfolio the Dutch regulator requested SNS REAAL in January 2013 to reinforce its capital, triggering the second State intervention.
The non-confidential version of the current decision will be made available under the case numbers SA.35382 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.