ABN AMRO is going to significantly reduce its business banking division, focusing only on the Netherlands and Northwestern Europe. The activities in the field of financing the trade and commodities sector will be completely discontinued, the company announced on Wednesday.

The slimming operation should be completed in the next three to four years. Some 800 employees are still involved in the activities to be discontinued.

The bank wants to focus its business division on regions where scale can be achieved and hopes that the downsizing of business activities will reduce the risk of financial setbacks.

The recently appointed CEO Robert Swaak announced earlier that he wanted to critically examine the investment banking activities.

In the past quarter, the bank again had to take credit provisions because various loans may not be fully repaid. This concerns loans to companies that have run into problems because of the corona crisis and the low oil price.

Partly because of this, ABN AMRO ended the second quarter with a loss of 5 million euros. That was considerably better than the result for the first quarter, when a loss of 395 million euros was recorded.