The Netherlands government has nationalised the Dutch activities of struggling European bank Fortis.
The 17 billion euro deal effectively breaks up the group along national lines.
The decision follows a previous 11 billion euro rescue of the bank on Sunday.
Under the new plan Fortis’s Belgian and Luxembourg operations will not be affected.
Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said:
‘‘The transaction we have agreed upon comes to 16.8 billion euros and this is intended to sustainably preserve the solvency of the Fortis group’‘.
The Netherlands will also take over Fortis’s interest in ABNAMRO, which was bought in a consortium with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Spain’s Santander last year.
The Dutch government’s decision to nationalise its Fortis assets comes on the eve of a high level summit in Paris between European leaders to discuss the euro zones response to the global credit crisis.
Belgium has said it will continue to keep its 49 per cent stake in the bank.