A comparable meeting had already taken place in Amsterdam. Yesterday, a second meeting was held in Brussels. Shareholders received information on some of Fortis's controversial moves in June, and also had the opportunity to ask questions about the company's future plans.
After taking over the Dutch group ABN-Amro, Fortis experienced financial difficulties. Fortis had to come out with a capital increase, causing the share value to take a dive. This led to discontentment and unrest among shareholders. Fortis CEO Jean-Paul Votron eventually resigned.
Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens explained that the management adopted the only possible strategy.
"We don't regret any decisions we've taken, although it was a bit painful sometimes. But we believe in our strategy, it was the best option. If we can integrate ABN-Amro in a couple of years, we'll be one of the best banks in Europe."
Asked whether he would take the same decisions again, Mr Lippens answered "certainly, no doubt about that."