This is 34% of the (consolidated) balance sheet of the Dutch banking system. “Eat or be eaten!” Today internationalisation of the banking system is a hot issue. Much of this internationalisation is achieved through acquisitions, and is strategic in nature. The driving forces behind internationalisation are economies of scale, efficiency, synergism and growth potential.
Moreover, internationalisation means a larger business network. In 2007, the percentage of foreign subsidiaries, participating interests and branches dropped to 34%, owing to the sale of banking subsidiaries in the US and Italy. This formed part of the takeover process surrounding ABN AMRO. The percentage is expected to decline further in 2008 due to, among other things, the sale of a subsidiary in Brazil.