The Knab online bank is now in Austrian hands. Insurer ASR acquired Knab last year when it acquired Aegon Netherlands, but is now selling the bank again.
ASR will raise €510 million for Knab, a relatively small bank with more than 300,000 clients. These clients include many freelancers.
Austrian company BAWAG will pay another 80 million to manage real estate loans that were on Knab's balance sheet. The deal likely won't be completed until the second half of 2024, partly because regulators still have to approve the deal.
Knapp was founded in 2012 as an alternative bank, with the word “bank” in the name backwards. The founders wanted to offer customers more services than just a checking account with some kind of subscription package. Knapp gradually focused more and more on small entrepreneurs.
Initially, Knapp was independent, but the bank operated under a license from Aegon. Later, Knab merged with Aegon's banking subsidiary. ASR acquired all of Aegon's Dutch activities in 2023. This included Knapp. The insurance company had already announced that it was looking for another destination for the bank.
BAWAG is a banking group that includes one of the four largest banks in Austria. BAWAG is already active in the Netherlands with mortgage advisory company Hypotrust and several loan brands.
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