Judge in LaSalle case has job with Rabobank

One of the lay judges who ruled that ABN Amro could not sell its American subsidiary LaSalle without consulting its shareholders is chairman of the supervisory board at the Rabobank in Roermond, reports today’s Volkskrant.

The company court had no objections to Evert Rongen sitting on the case but lawyers say he should have stepped down. ‘If there is one organisation that benefits from the downfall of ABN Amro, it’s the Rabobank,’ lawyer Henrik Jan Bos told the Volkskrant.
Rongen himself says the fact that he has links with the Rabobank is immaterial. ‘Rabobank Roermond is a purely local institution. Such a local bank is involved with completely different things than those that take place at national level. So in this case, this function has no relevance,’ Rongen told the paper.
A number of local Rabobank branches have been in the news recently because they were trying to poach ABN Amro’s clients. Thousands of customers have moved to the Rabobank over the past few months, the Volkskrant says.
The ruling by the company court on May 3 was a significant setback for ABN Amro. LaSalle is central in the ongoing takeover battle for ABN Amro. The decision was overruled by the High Court last week.
A spokeswoman at the company court said the court was aware of the situation but declined to comment.

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