The mediation effort concerning shareleasing products undertaken by Mr Duisenberg
has led to an agreement.
Mr Duisenberg launched mediation talks in February 2005 between Dexia Bank
Nederland (DBNL) and the foundations Leaseverlies and Eegalease, and the Consumentenbond,
with the support of Vereniging van Effectenbezitters - Dutch Association of
Securities holders (VEB).
The solutions apply both to contracts terminated since January 1997 and to
active contracts, as follows:
· Clients terminating their contracts with a residual debt will benefit
from a discount of two thirds of the residual debt; however past profits, when
applicable, will be deducted.
· Clients invoking Section 1:88 of the Civil Code (spousal consent)
to request the nullification of their contract before expiration of the prescription
period will benefit from a full discount (100% of the residual debt); past profits,
when applicable, will be deducted.
· Clients with a contract that cannot end with a residual debt will
be granted a discount of 10% on the residual debt upon early termination.
· Clients who have already accepted the Dexia Offer will be offered
an additional option: upon immediate payment of the residual debt, they will
benefit from a one third discount thereof.
· The existing "hardship clause", meant to resolve all potential
social problems, will continue to be accessible to all clients and applicable
to all products.
The foundations Leaseverlies and Eegalease will submit this settlement to their
members and recommend to accept it. If the majority of respondents react positively,
the Foundations will put an end to their collective proceedings against Dexia.
The implementation of these general principles is targeted to be available
for all customers before the end of June 2005.
The above agreement is not applicable to a specific group of customers who
hold a combination of products including a share leasing agreement and a securities
deposit account ("Depotlease"), for which the bank has already proposed
a separate settlement.
Dexia has made it clear to all interested parties that its willingness to enter
into a global settlement entails no admission of responsibility.
The cost of the settlement for Dexia will be in the order of EUR 400 million.
In view of the existing provisions in Dexia's accounts and of the contribution
of EUR 218 million made by Aegon (see press release dated Feb. 11, 2005), the
impact should be a pre-tax charge of approximately EUR 100 million, in the first
quarter 2005 accounts.
Dirk Bruneel, Chairman of Dexia Bank Nederland, declared:
"The issues raised by the share leasing products sold by Bank Labouchere
have led to numerous difficulties over the last years. Whilst Dexia feels that
it has acted correctly and that its arguments are strong, we also recognize
that this matter has evolved into a global social issue in the Netherlands and
we had to deal with this fact.
Dexia salutes the efforts and stewardship of M. Duisenberg who, in the presence
of very firm standpoints on both sides, has succeeded in bringing an agreement
Dexia has made the choice to negotiate with Leaseverlies, Eegalease, the Consumentenbond
and the VEB, as they are the best-suited representatives both of our customers
and more generally of society's concerns regarding this issue.
We are confident that the response of the contract holders will be positive
and that this matter will be definitively settled."