Dutch financial sector sees exposures to euro area increase

Statistical News Release
Date 6 July 2012

Over the first quarter of 2012, the market value of the external intra-eurozone exposures of the Dutch financial sector increased by 4%. Exposures to Germany (+4%) and France (+7%) grew, whereas those to Spain (-3%), Portugal (-6%) and Greece (-30%) decreased.

Continued growth of the exposures to Germany and resurging demand for France caused total exposures of Dutch financial institutions to euro countries (excluding the Netherlands) to increase by EUR 26 billion. Underlying this development were both volume and price changes. Examples of exposures are loans, equities and bonds. Exposures to the Netherlands increased by over EUR 13 billion during the first quarter, to a total of EUR 1,090 billion. Against the background of the persistent European debt crisis, exposures of the Dutch financial sector to Spain, Portugal and Greece decreased further during the first quarter of 2012; at end- March 2012, these exposures together totalled EUR 78 billion, down from over EUR 81 billion at year-end 2011.

Exposures of the Dutch financial sector to selected countries


Exposures to the euro area were expanded by pension funds, insurers and banks alike. Exposures to France of pension funds, and to some extent of insurers and banks as well, initially increased during the first quarter (by EUR 10 billion), owing partly to positive revaluation and partly to net purchases. Purchases were largely made in French sovereign paper, which regained favour as prices resurged after an earlier decline. Banks, pension funds and insurers also increased their exposures to Germany. In the case of banks, purchases concentrated on German peers (EUR +5 billion), whereas insurers and pension funds mainly bought German capital market securities, in particular German government paper (EUR +5 billion). By contrast, Dutch Bank’s exposures to German general government declined, by EUR 3 billion. As a result overall exposure of the Dutch financial sector to general government in the euro area remained roughly unchanged during the first quarter, at 42%.

Exposures of the Dutch financial sector, March 2012

Outside the euro area, sharp divestments of exposures to the USA were observed. The Dutch financial sector lowered its US exposures by EUR 51 billion during the first quarter of 2012. In particular, banks’ exposures to the US private sector and US government decreased. At the same time, exposures of the Dutch financial sector to the United Kingdom grew by EUR 18 billion. Growth was particularly strong in claims on banking counterparties in the UK.