ABN Amro NV said that it and Fortis Bank Nederland NV will legally merge Thursday and start operating as a single bank under the name ABN Amro Bank.

By merging, the two banks "can make accelerated progress in integrating their activities," including the sharing of client information, ABN Amro said. The firm will have 6.8 million clients, 500 branches in the Netherlands and a network in 27 countries.

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