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ABN AMRO Clarifies Bin Laden Connection

CFO: "We have no reason to question the fact that all links between the Saudi Binladin Group and the terrorist have indeed effectively been terminated a long time ago"

September 26, 2001

By SAM GARCIA

ABN AMRO put out a recent statement regarding its relationship with Saudi Binladin Group. In its announcement, the company said that Saudi Binladin Group, a respected international company based in Saudi Arabia, has been a client of the Saudi Hollandi Bank (of which ABN AMRO owns 40%) for over 70 years. The family behind the company Saudi Binladin Group has reportedly announced publicly on several occasions that it has broken all its ties with the terrorist Osama bin Laden.

The Amsterdam-based financial services company noted that the broken ties are supported by the fact that the Saudi Binladin Group is not listed on the US Treasury Department's list of foreign companies and individuals engaging in undesirable activities. "We have no reason to question the fact that all links between the Saudi Binladin Group and the terrorist have indeed effectively been terminated a long time ago," said Tom de Swaan, Chief Financial Officer of ABN AMRO. "Based on this, there is no reason to assume that the relationship between Saudi Hollandi Bank and the Saudi Binladin Group has been abused."

ABN AMRO was a tenant in the World Trade Center. It produces mortgage loans and provides related services through American subsidiaries including Interfirst Wholesale Mortgage Lending, LaSalle Home Mortgage and Standard Federal Bank. The company says that its mortgage group is the sixth largest mortgage lender in the U.S.

MortgageDaily.com
According to the New York Times, Osama Bin Laden is the 17th of 51 children born to Muhammad bin Laden. The father founded a construction company with his brothers, now known as the Bin Laden Group, which prospered by building roads and palaces under the patronage of the Saudi royal family, and made the bin Ladens a fortune estimated at billions of dollars.

Sam Garcia has been in mortgage lending since 1980, and is managing editor of MortgageDaily.com. He also owns and operates CloseNow.com, a real estate portal site.

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