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Launch of Dutch mortgage-financing vehicle delayed by EC ruling

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The introduction of the Netherlands’ proposed National Mortgage Institution (NHI) – a vehicle for mortgage financing – has been delayed yet again due to new conditions set by the European Commission.

The NHI’s purpose is to tempt Dutch pension funds to invest in prime residential mortgages by issuing home loans, purchased from banks, as state-secured bonds.

The European Commission, however, has demanded that the banks pass on the full benefits achieved through NHI financing to their customers, according to Jan van Rutte, responsible for setting up the institution.

Dutch news daily FD quoted Van Rutte as saying: “Otherwise, the European Commission would consider this as state support.”

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In addition, he said the Dutch Treasury was still waiting for clarity from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical bureau, on whether the NHI would be counted as national debt.

In the past, Van Rutte has estimated that the NHI could potentially attract €25bn of investments over the next five years.

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