Fortis board 'to oust chief executive'

10 July 2008

Executives at Fortis are to meet in Brussels tomorrow, following reports of cash flow problems at the firm.

Belgian newspaper De Standaard reports that chief executive Jean-Paul Votron is likely to be asked to leave, in order to "restore confidence" in the bank.

The Belgian firm was forced to cancel its shareholders' dividend in June, and indicated that it needed $13.1 billion of revenue in order to maintain operations.

In a statement, the bank said that the upcoming meeting will discuss the "public reaction in Belgium and The Netherlands" to this move.

Fortis has written down around $10.5 billion of financial products, which became devalued due to the ongoing global credit crunch.

Moreover, the firm's balance sheet has been further stretched by its multi-billion takeover, as part of a consortium with RBS and Santander, of Dutch bank ABN Amro last year - just prior to the onset of the crisis.

Recently, Fortis has indicated that "extraordinary measures" are required in order to restore capital ratios.

Fortis is Belgium's biggest bank, in terms of market share.

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