Monday, June 11, 2007

Sale of HEMA to UK investors doesn't stir the Dutch

Interestingly we can see the Dutch at present as very involved in their money and Dutch banking and discussing that we are now losing ABN AMRO to UK companies or foreign investors. Sentiments roar like: another Dutch institution gone. Also the fact that ING strikes it domestic brand Postbank creates quite some uproar. Yet, the sale of other huge Dutch brands/institutions such as the former KLM (merged with Air France in a slow takeover mode) or HEMA (a Department store group being sold to UK investment company Lion Capital for about € 1 billion) doesn't seem to stir us here into a similar mode of arousal.

It is interesting to see that in public opinion Dutch banks always do everything wrong, are crooks, cartel-champions, thieves, umbrella lenders when the sun shines and so on. But when the internationalisation-push comes to shove all the negative emotions disappear like snow in the sun, demonstrating that instead, the Dutch public may be quite committed to their banks.

My impression is that this so-called negative sentiment/caricature about the Dutch banks may in reality be nothing more than a (long-term ;-) lovers spat?