Credit crunch cancer spreads to Europe

Credit crunch cancer spreads to Europe


Signs that the financial decline currently affecting the U.K. and U.S. economies is seeping over to Europe came this weekend, with the announcement that Dutch/Belgian bank, Fortis, are facing collapse.

Until now, England’s closest neighbours have remained largely unaffected by the credit crunch cancer, but news that one of Europe’s biggest banks is in danger of drowning has led to a series of emergency meetings between Europe’s top bankers, regulators and politicians.


It would seem that Fortis’s fate is now dependent on a €11.2billion (£9billion) bailout from the governments of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Without it, it would seem that Belgium has little chance of avoiding the slide into an economy slump. The potential meltdown of the banking and insurance group would also spell trouble for the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Spanish Banco Santander, as they were involved in the €70billion ABN Amro take-over with Fortis last year, and may experience some collateral damage as a result.


Customers’ savings are said to be safe, according to Marianne Thyssen, leader of the Christian Democrats, although Belgian law only guarantees up to €20,000 in savings accounts.

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