Don’t bank with a sports nut

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After yesterday’s sad tale of the fall of Colonial Bancgroup founder and Auburn football dictator Bobby Lowder, now we have another sports/banking mess, this time from the Netherlands. From the NRC Handelsblad (translation, for once, theirs—I’m going to stick with only English-language links this time):

The Dutch central bank took control of the consumer bank DSB on Monday after an attempted sell-off of the bank fell through over the weekend. DSB, named for its founder Dirk Scheringa, is famous in the Netherlands for its sponsorship of football champions AZ, but mostly for its cutting-edge loans, mortgages and connected insurance policies.

The bank did not fall victim to the credit crisis, but got into trouble after a foundation standing up for DSB customers who felt duped by the bank encouraged all savers to withdraw their money.

Scheringa has spent gobs and gobs of money over the past decade transforming AZ Alkmaar from small-time team (albeit one with a glorious history) to Dutch champion. The club’s budget for this year is supposedly safe, but before long it will probably begin its painful return to the small-time.

The lesson for you and me? Be very wary of banks whose CEOs are better known for their sports activities than their banking ones.

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