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March 31, 2009

Guardian: Fortis posts £26bn loss for 2008

By Spear's

Fortis, once one of Europe’s top 10 banks, today compounded investors’ worst fears by reporting a -28bn (£26bn) loss for 2008, a year when it barely survived.

Fortis, once one of Europe‘s top 10 banks, today compounded investors’ worst fears by reporting a €28bn (£26bn) loss for 2008, a year when it barely survived.

Now broken up into separate Belgian and Dutch activities which have been nationalised, the former bancassurer is seeing the bulk of its Belgian banking operations go to BNP Paribas to create Europe’s biggest retail bank.

But enraged by losing their life savings, small investors have joined forces with institutions and threaten to derail the project after winning court battles late last year and this year.

Fortis was the weakest link in the trio of European banks, led by RBS, which paid €70bn for Dutch rival ABN Amro. That ill-fated venture cost RBS much of its record £28bn loss last year and almost brought Fortis to its knees.

To read the full article, visit guardian.co.uk
 

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