Fortis to change name

The chairman of the board of governors of Fortis Nederland, Jan van Rutte, has announced that the bank and insurance giant is to change its name. According to Mr van Rutte, the name has acquired a negative connotation due to the global financial crisis. Last month, in a deal with governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the Dutch-Belgian Fortis banking group was nationalised. Fortis was a victim of the global financial meltdown and was unable to raise enough money to finance its share of the purchase of the ABN-Amro banking group. The Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander and the Fortis group bought ABN Amro 18 months ago.

Mr van Rutte says it is not yet clear what the new name will be. The consequences for Fortis’ sports sponsorship contracts are also unclear; the banking group sponsors a number of teams including the Dutch Premier league club Feyenoord.

Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos has announced that Michael Enthoven has been appointed to the Fortis board of governors. He is currently working for the public prosecutor’s office. Until the beginning of this year, Mr Enthoven ran the Dutch private investment bank NIBC. He resigned after a takeover of Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank fell through. According to Minister Bos, Mr Enthoven will receive the same salary at Fortis as he did as a public prosecutor. The Dutch finance minister says the bank’s bonus policies will be scrapped now that the state is the majority shareholder.

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