Dexia: Wikis

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Dexia N.V./S.A.
Type Naamloze vennootschap / Société anonyme
Founded 1996
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Key people Pierre Mariani (CEO), Jean-Luc Dehaene (Chairman of the board)
Industry Financial services
Products Public sector banking, commercial banking, private banking, insurance
Revenue 6.163 billion (2009)[1]
Operating income €2.556 billion (2009)[1]
Profit €1.010 billion (2009)[1]
Total assets €577.6 billion (2009)[1]
Employees 35,230 (2009)[1]
Website www.dexia.com
The Dexia Tower in Brussels

Dexia (Euronext: DEXB, LuxSEDXB) is a Belgian-French financial institution, also referred to as the Dexia Group, active in public finance, providing retail and commercial banking services to individuals and SMEs, asset management, financial markets and insurance.

Dexia is one of the biggest players in the world in financing the public sector. In Belgium Dexia is also known as a retail bank for individuals, and in Luxembourg as an asset manager (Dexia Banque Internationale à Luxembourg). In the 2009 Fortune Global 500 (which lists companies by total income)[2] Dexia was ranked 16th, the second-highest bank and the top-ranked Belgian company.

The company was founded in 1996 through the merger of Crédit Communal de Belgique/Gemeentekrediet van België (founded in 1860) and Crédit Local de France (founded in 1987). The Dexia Group was founded as a dual-listed company, but in 1999 the Belgian entity took over the French entity to form one company. Dexia is a member of the BEL20, CAC 40, and LuxX indices. The company is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Dexia's BIC code is GKCC BE BB, which mirrors the name of the old "Gemeentekrediet-Crédit Communal".

Activities of Dexia worldwide

Contents

History

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Belgium : Gemeentekrediet van België / Crédit Communal de Belgique

  • 1860 - Foundation of the Gemeentekrediet van België / Crédit Communal de Belgique, specifically aimed at financing the investments of the local administrations. The communities were shareholders, for a value of at least 5% of the amounts drawn.
  • 1947 - Development of a network of retail branches that allow drawing funds from the general public through savings accounts. From 1960 on the branches were run by independent agents, allowing a broader range of services and products to be offered and a lasting relationship with clients to be developed.
  • 1990 - Start of the international expansion of the bank with the creation of the Cregem International Bank in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, specialising in the management of large sums of money.
  • 1991 - The Gemeentekrediet builds on its international expansion by taking a stake of 25% in the Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL), the biggest bank in Luxembourg. In early 1992 the firm increased its stake in BIL to 51%.

France : Crédit Local de France

  • 1987 - Foundation of the Crédit Local de France as a successor to the CAECL (Caisse d'aide à l'équipement des collectivités locales); it was a public administrative institution, managed by the Caisse des dépôts. The Crédit Local de France was a specialised financial institution responding to the needs of local administrations, that have become important economic agents in their own, and make as much use of products and services of the financial markets as businesses.
  • 1990 - The Crédit Local de France begins an international expansion with the opening of an American subsidiary, the CLF New York Agency. Aiming at a similar development in Europe, the CLF mainly operated in Great Britain, Spain, Germany and Italy; additional activities were later added in Austria, Scandinavia, and Portugal.

Dexia: the Group[3]

  • 1996: Merger of the Gemeentekrediet / Credit Communal of Belgium and the Crédit Local de France to form Dexia.
  • 1997: Dexia takes a stake of 40% in the Italian firm Crediop, the biggest privately owned bank specialising in finance for Italian local administrations.
  • 1998: Dexia increases its shareholding in Crediop to 60%.
  • 1999: First listing of Dexia Group as a dual-listed company on the Brussels and Paris stock exchanges in November, at a price of €6.86 per share. In Belgium the stock became part of the BEL20 index, and in France of the CAC 40. The group broadens its insurance activities in France, Belgium and Germany.
  • 2000: Acquisition of Financial Security Assurance (FSA) in the United States, a major player in credit enhancement for municipalities, making Dexia the world leader in the market of financial services to the public sector. Dexia is active in nearly all European countries in this market as well. Start of an annual reserved capital injection to which only Dexia members of staff can inscribe.
  • 2001: Acquisition of Artesia Banking Corporation, a banking group with activities as retail bank (BACOB), insurance (DVV) and asset management (Cordius). The stake in Crediop grows to 70%, and Dexia gains control over Otzar Hashilton Hamekomi, an Israeli credit provider for local authorities.
  • 2002: Integration of the Artesia branches in Belgium.
  • 2006: Acquisition of 99.8% of the Turkish firm Denizbank.

Crisis

2008/2009

On 29 September 2008 Dexia came under pressure during the crisis in the banking sector. Other banks and financial institutions refused to provide further credit to Dexia because of potential losses at its U.S. subsidiary FSA and from a multi-billion loan to troubled German bank Depfa.[4]. The price of the Dexia share, having peaked above €20 in the previous years, but gradually fallen to around €10, dropped in one day to €6.62.

The next day the rating agency Moody's downgraded Dexia's long term debt and deposits ratings from Aa1 to Aa3,[5] and downgraded the individual banks' strengths to C- ("adequate intrinsic financial strength") with a negative outlook.[6]

Dexia was quickly forced to apply for a bailout by the State. This support was assured within days, taking two forms:

  • a capital injection of €6.4 billion[7], consisting of €3 billion from the Belgian State and regional governments, €3 billion from the French State and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and €376 million from the government of Luxembourg.
  • a state guarantee (effective from 31 October 2008)[8] covering Dexia's liabilities towards credit institutions and institutional counterparties, as well as bonds and other debt securities issued for the same counterparties, for a total maximum amount of €150 billion. Belgium provided 60.5% of the guarantee, with a 36.5% contribution from the French state and 3% from Luxembourg.

The three states have the potential to make a profit from their intervention:

  • the new capital buys Dexia shares at a price of €9.90 per asset
  • for the state guarantee Dexia has to pay a monthly fee, from which the three states benefit proportionally to their share in the guarantee. The guaranteed amount varies continually as a function of Dexia's loans on the financial markets. It peaked mid-2009 at around €100 billion, but after Dexia managed to start selling non guaranteed commercial paper and bonds again, fell to half this size by the end of 2009. In 2009 Dexia paid a fee of 0.5% on the guaranteed credits with a term of less than one year, and 0.865% on the credits longer than one year. The guarantee is currently planned to end in November 2010.

On 30 September 2008 the company's chairman Pierre Richard and CEO Axel Miller were sacked, and were replaced on 7 October 2008 by former Belgian prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and Pierre Mariani respectively.

At the end of 2008 Dexia sold the healthy parts of FSA, ceased its trading activities in Paris and trading on its own account in the financial markets.

Further losses are still possible on the remaining FSA portfolio. On 19 January 2009 Moody's lowered the credit rating for Dexia's long term obligations and saving accounts of the three banking parts of Dexia (Dexia Credit Local, Dexia Bank Belgium and Dexia Banque Internationale in Luxembourg) from Aa3 to A1. The rating agency also downgraded the Bank Financial Strength Rating for the three banks from C- to D+.

On 5 March 2009 Dexia's share price fell to an all-time low of €1.21, a loss of over 90% in a year. A further restructuring plan was announced, with the firm aiming to concentrate on its primary activities, and to avoid risks on the financial markets. A total of 1,500 job cuts were announced, of which more than half were in Belgium, 260 in France, and the rest worldwide. Dexia's share price subsequently increased over the rest of 2009, largely varying between €4 to €7.50.

Losses

In February 2009 the bank announced net losses of 3.3 billion euros (approximately 4.2 billion US dollars) for 2008[9]. The Dexia 2008 annual report mentions among others losses of €1.6 billion from selling FSA, €600 million on portfolios and €800 million on counterparties (including Lehman Brothers, Icelandic banks, and Washington Mutual)

According to the financial services provider Bloomberg Dexia lost €78 million through the Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff[10].

2010

On 6 February 2010 Dexia could announce that the European Commission had, under certain conditions, approved of the restructuring plan that was necessary to justify the government support for Dexia and to prevent unfair competition [11]:

  • some acquisitions had to be undone (Dexia Crediop, Dexia Sabadell and Dexia Banka Slovensko) but banking activities in Turkey, highly promising to Dexia, could continue.
  • by the middle of 2010 the State Guarantee had to be abandoned
  • in total Dexia had to downsize by one third by 2014.

Shareholder structure

As of 30 June 2009:[12]

Shareholders %
Institutional and private shareholders 26.7
Caisse des dépôts et consignations 17.6
Communal Holding 14.1
ARCO Group 13.9
French State 5.7
Belgian Federal State 5.7
Three Belgian Regions 5.7
Ethias 5.0
CNP Assurances 3.0
Dexia employees 2.6

Financial information [13]

year Revenue Net income
2005 €5,976 million €2,038 million
2006 €7,012 million €2,750 million
2007 €6,896 million €2,533 million
2008 €3,556 million -€3,326 million
2009 €6,163 million €1,010 million

Management

As of December 2009, the company's corporate officers were as follows

Board of directors [14]

  • Jean-Luc Dehaene, Belgium, Chairman of the board
  • Pierre Mariani, France, Chairman of the Management Board
  • Gilles Benoist, F
  • Olivier Bourges, F
  • Robert de Metz, F
  • Augustin de Romanet de Beaune, F
  • Stefaan Decraene, B, Chairman of the Management Board of Dexia Bank Belgium
  • Christian Giacomotto, F
  • Serge Kubla
  • Catherine Kopp, F
  • Serge Kubla, F
  • Hubert Reynier, F
  • Francine Swiggers, B
  • Bernard Thiry, B
  • Marc Tinant, B
  • Sir Brian Unwin, Great Britain
  • Koen Van Loo, B
  • Francis Vermeiren, B
  • Isabelle Bouillot, F
  • Brigitte Chanoine, B

Management board [15]

  • Pierre Mariani, F, Chairman of the Management Board of Dexia SA
  • Stefaan Decraene, B, Chairman of the Management Board of Dexia Bank Belgium
  • Pascal Poupelle, F, Chairman of the Management Board of Dexia Crédit Local
  • Philippe Rucheton, F, Chief Financial Officer
  • Claude Piret, B, Chief Risk Officer

Executive committee [16]

  • Pierre Mariani, F, Chairman of the Management Board of Dexia SA
  • Stefaan Decraene, B, Chairman of the Management Board of Dexia Bank Belgium
  • Pascal Poupelle, F, Chairman of the Management Board of Dexia Crédit Local
  • Philippe Rucheton, F, Chief Financial Officer
  • Claude Piret, B, Chief Risk Officer
  • Benoît Debroise, F, Manager Treasury and Financial Markets
  • Alexandre Joly, F, Manager Strategy, M&A and Transversal Projects
  • Véronique Thirion, B, Manager Human Resources
  • Olivier Van Herstraeten, B, Manager Tax, Legal and Conformity
  • André Vanden Camp, B, Chief Operating Officer

Controversies

Netherlands

Dexia had ambitious plans in the Netherlands, and took over Bank Labouchère from the Dutch insurer Aegon in August 2000 at the height of the market. On top of this, in 2001 the business bank Kempen & Co was bought and removed from the stock market for about €1 billion. The two acquired companies Labouchère and Kempen & Co were merged into Dexia Netherlands. This merger had to be undone however, because of an asset leasing affair that threatened to damage the reputation of Kempen & Co.

The asset leasing affair left Dexia in The Netherlands in the end with so much negative publicity that it decided to reduce its Dutch activities. In 2004 Kempen & Co was sold for about €85 million, a fraction of the buying price, to its management, the Friesland Bank, NPM Capital and HAL Investments.

Dexia Bank Netherlands still continues to unwind asset leasing contracts under the commercial name of Legio Lease, and the corresponding agreements and court cases.[17] Dexia suffered a substantial loss in March 2008, after a ruling from the High Council on the legality of leasing contracts, in which contracts were considered invalid for married couples of which both partners had not signed the contract. Dexia as a consequence had to repay these debts plus accrued interests. Luckily for Dexia many customers had previously agreed to a less favourable Duisenberg-agreement and could not revoke this. Eventually only 3,000 of the hundreds of thousands of Legiolease customers profited from this ruling of the High Council.

Sustainability

According to research [18] of Netwerk Vlaanderen Dexia in 2005 together with AXA, Fortis, ING and KBC invested over €6.6 billion in companies that were involved in human rights violations. The companies and projects in which banks invest are controversial because of their support for dictatorial regimes, forced displacements and forced labour. The criticism concerns among others investments in a gas pipe line in Myanmar and the BTC pipe line through Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In 2005 Dexia announced a new policy concerning the weapons industry. Companies involved in the production of anti-personnel mines will be completely barred from banking services. For investment funds there is no limitation of investments in the weapons industry. [19]

Dexia is the only Belgian company to be ranked among 'The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'[20]. With €14.1 billion sustainably invested capital in 2007, Dexia is the market leader in Belgium.

Financing Israeli colonies in the Occupied Territories

Through its Israeli subsidiary Dexia finances Israeli colonies in the Occupied Territories. Several Belgian and French NGOs are mounting campaigns to attract attention to this [21].

Remunerations

Axel Miller

After his forced departure in October 2008, CEO Axel Miller was contractually entitled to a 'golden parachute' of €3.7 million. This provoked protest from the French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and Miller subsequently renounced his bonus, leaving the matter to "the wisdom of the Board of Directors". The board eventually decided to pay him one year's salary (€825,000), thus ignoring Sarkozy's remarks.

The French Ministry of Finance stated in April 2009 that it had voted against the payout, but that its representatives on the board were outnumbered.[22]

Salary of Pierre Mariani

Axel Miller's successor, Pierre Mariani, close to Nicolas Sarkozy, obtained a salary that is 30% higher than that of Miller.

The board of directors unanimously accepted on 13 November 2008 to upgrade the yearly salary of the CEO to €1 million, and to fix the maximum bonus at €2.25 million. Miller's salary was €825,000, with a maximum bonus of €1.8 million.

Bonuses in 2008

Within Dexia Crédit Local, the French component of Dexia group, an pool of €8 million was dedicated to the bonuses of the leading managers, mainly directors. The management indicated that the sum would be shared among 400 to 765 employees.[23]

"Golden hellos"

Philippe Rucheton, the financial director appointed by Dexia in April 2009, coming from Société Générale, received a welcome bonus of €500,000. [24]

Buildings

Dexia Tower

The Dexia Tower, the firm's new head office in Brussels, is with its height of 137m an icon in the business district of Brussels-North. In December 2006 the tower was equipped with LED lighting. The colours of the tower can be chosen by the public at special occasions from a touchscreen. A total of 126,000 programmable LED strips have been fitted.

The CBX tower at La Défense in Paris

CBX tower

The CBX tower is the bank's Parisian headquarter since 2007.

Sponsorship

In Belgium Dexia is the main sponsor of football club Club Brugge K.V..

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Annual Results 2009" (PDF). Dexia. http://www.dexia.com/docs/2010/2010_4Q/PDF/20100224_CP_4Q_UK.pdf. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Fortune Global 500" (html). Fortune. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2009/full_list/. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  3. ^ "Dexia Group History" (PDF). Dexia. http://www.dexia.com/docs/2005/20050511_AG/VoletA_NL/20050511_VoletA_NL_8_11.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  4. ^ "Regering moet twee banken redden". De Standaard. 2008-10-05. http://www.standaard.be/Artikel/Detail.aspx?artikelId=DMF05102008_017. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  5. ^ Moody's. Banking. Highlights. Requires free registration. Retrieved 2008-10-06
  6. ^ Moody's. Press release with details of Dexia's various ratings. Requires free registration. Retrieved 2008-10-06
  7. ^ "Second Belgian bank gets bail-out". BBC News. 2008-09-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7643638.stm. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  8. ^ http://www.nbb.be/DOC/DQ/warandia/index.htm
  9. ^ "Franco-Belgian bank Dexia posts 3.3 billion euros losses for 2008". Expatica. 2008-02-29. http://www.expatica.com/be/news/local_news/Franco_Belgian-bank-Dexia-posts-3_3-billion-euros-losses-for-2008--.html. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  10. ^ Bloomberg LP
  11. ^ "Dexia press release" (html). dexia. http://www.dexia.com/e/news/press-release-desc.php?id=4470&p=0. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  12. ^ "Capital structure". Dexia. 30 June 2009. http://www.dexia.com/e/you-are/shareholder-stockinfo1.php. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Dexia Reports". Dexia. http://www.dexia.com/e/news/publications.php. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  14. ^ Board of Directors
  15. ^ management board
  16. ^ Executive Committee
  17. ^ Dexia Bank Netherlands
  18. ^ Belgian banking groups invest in companies that violate human rights Netwerk Vlaanderen 15 nov 2005
  19. ^ Banken ontwapenen Netwerk Vlaanderen april 2005
  20. ^ The Global 100: Most Sustainable Corporations in the World
  21. ^ "article from Le Soir" (html). Le Soir. http://www.lesoir.be/actualite/monde/proche-orient-des-mouvements-2008-11-08-659132.shtml. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  22. ^ "article from Liberation" (html). Libération. http://www.liberation.fr/economie/0101563482-dexia-retourne-aux-bonus-habitudes. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  23. ^ "article from Liberation" (html). Libération. http://cordonsbourse.blogs.liberation.fr/cori/2009/04/dexia-un-dmenti.html. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  24. ^ "article from Liberation" (html). Libération. http://www.liberation.fr/economie/0101564779-golden-hello-chez-dexia. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 

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