ING to cut bonuses after €775m settlement in money laundering case

Banking group ING has less money to spend on 2018 performance-related bonuses because of the €775m fine the bank has paid in an out-of-court settlement for money laundering failures. A spokesman for the bank told the Financieele Dagblad the amount set aside for bonuses will be 'considerably smaller' than the €403m divided up between staff in 2017. The biggest Dutch bank briefed staff about the reduction in a webcast on Wednesday, the FD said. A source within the bank told the paper that most people will 'get hardly anything'. The public prosecution department reached a €775m out of court settlement with ING for failing to properly monitor money transfers for potential money laundering last September. The department says between 2010 and 2016, the bank’s clients were effectively able to launder hundreds of millions of euros because ING was not doing its job properly. Banks are required by law to report suspicious transactions. The bonus cut will not affect staff whose bonus is set down in pay and conditions deals, the FD said. These people mainly work abroad.  More >

Passengers happier with NS service

Dutch railway company NS is doing a better job than in 2017, with 86% of travellers giving the state-owned firm a score of at least seven out of 10. In the last survey, 80% of passengers ranked the service worthy of at least seven points.  In 2004, when the surveys began, just two-thirds of travellers considered the NS to be worthy of such a high approval rating. The research was carried out by the NS itself among over 45,000 passengers. Approval of the friendliness of staff has risen from 91% to 92% while 68% now rate the hygiene on trains at least a seven. NS customer service specialist Thijs Urlings said increased punctuality, new trains and revamped stations have all had an impact. 'In addition, there were fewer breakdowns and that too has influenced passengers,' he said. 'A sunny summer and good economic prospects also help people be more positive.'  More >

Higher bills, but we have more to spend

Grocery shopping may be more expensive, health insurance premiums have gone up and energy bills are higher, but most people do have more disposable income in 2019, according to family spending institute Nibud. Nibud has studied pay slips relating to 100 common personal situations and found that in 96 of cases, people have more cash left over after paying their bills. 'But we are talking about 1%, or some €20 a month in some cases,' director Arjan Vliegenthart said. Nibud has developed an online tool where people can check the impact of the various tax changes on their disposable income. Comparison website Pricewise also published its calculations for the rise in household bills on Friday. It says families face an average increase of €600 a year in their bills for energy, internet, television and insurance. Single people face a €400 rise, Pricewise said. Among the extra costs facing consumers: energy bills are up 17% and car insurance 10%, the website said.  More >

Philips moves UK production to Friesland

Philips is closing its last remaining factory in Britain and transferring production to Drachten in Friesland, the company has confirmed. The plan involves closing the Philips factory in Glemsford in the southern county of Suffolk, with the loss of 430 jobs, in 2020. The factory makes products for babies. Neil Mesher, chief executive of Philips UK and Ireland, told the East Anglian Daily Times the closure was part of a wider global strategy and would have been made 'regardless of Brexit'. The company said earlier that it is reducing its number of manufacturing bases from 50 to 30 as part of its plan to focus on healthcare technology. As yet it is unclear how many jobs will be transferred to Drachten. Philips currently employs some 2,000 people in the northern town, who make shaving apparatus and develop household products.  More >

Deported journalist may have forged papers

The Dutch journalist deported by Turkey on security grounds is suspected of falsifying paperwork, sources have told television current affairs show Nieuwsuur. Ans Boersma arrived back in the Netherlands on Thursday after being picked up when she went to renew her residency permit. A spokesman for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the deportation followed information from the Netherlands that Boersma had links to terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra. The Dutch public prosecution department later went public, saying that her name had come up in a criminal investigation relating to terrorism but that Boersma was not suspected of any terrorist activity. Boersma herself said on the Financieele Dagblad website that her deportation may relate to the fact that ‘up to summer 2015’ she had a relationship with a Syrian national who was arrested in the Netherlands last autumn because of his former membership of the Syrian terrorist organisation Jabhat al-Nusra. Various media outlets now report that this is the Syrian national spotted by activists attending a film at the Balie centre in Amsterdam in 2017 and who was arrested last October on terrorism charges. Residence permit The public prosecution department says they consider it likely the 32-year-old was active for Islamic terror group Jabhat al-Nusra before coming to the Netherlands. He was given a temporary residency permit in 2014. One source told Nieuwsuur Boersma is suspected of helping the man, whom she likely met in Turkey in 2013 or 2014, to get a visa for the Netherlands and that forgery is thought to be involved. Boersma herself has not commented further on the case. The man, who goes by the name Aziz, told the Volkskrant at the end of 2017 he had never had anything to do with IS.  More >