DSB boss took millions from ‘his’ bank

The collapse of independent bank DSB will have serious consequences for its owner and founder Dirk Scheringa because he has borrowed large amounts of money from the bank to fund his other interests, according to media reports on Tuesday.

On Monday, the bank was put under central bank control and administrators were appointed. The intervention followed a run on savings. In total, over €600m was removed from the bank over the past few days.
‘The large outflow of liquidities jeopardised DSB’s existence in the short term. Moreover, DSB’s solvency is under serious pressure,’ the central bank said in a statement.
The Volkskrant says Scheringa has taken at least €128m from the bank and its insurance subsidiaries since 2006. The money was put into football club AZ, his modern art museum, a country house in Friesland and a private jet, the paper says.
According to the Volkskrant, if Scheringa is guilty of maladministration or other offences, the curators will move to recover the cash.
Scheringa, a former policeman, features in the Quote 500 rich list at number 97 with assets of €285m.
DSB has been hit by a crisis of confidence following claims it saddled customers with mortgages they could not afford and unnecessary insurance policies.
All savings at the bank have now been frozen and bank customers can use their bank cards to withdraw a maximum €750 – or €250 a day – before Wednesday afternoon.
Savers with up to €100,000 in the bank will be able to get their money back under the country’s deposit guarantee scheme. But some 4,000 people with savings in excess of this amount are likely to lose the rest. And some 4,000 people with subordinated deposits, which earned interest of around 6.5%, are not covered by the guarantee scheme at all.
It is not yet clear if a compensation deal for some customers who were oversold mortgages will still come into effect.
Finance minister Wouter Bos said at a news conference that he is setting up an independent inquiry into events at the bank, including the way the executive board carried out its duties.
Former finance minister Gerrit Zalm, who is currently in charge at ABN Amro, was chief finance officer (CFO) at the bank from July 2007 to the end of 2008, at the same time the company was over selling mortgages.
Zalm issued a personal statement on Monday afternoon. ‘I believe that during the period of just over a year I spent as CFO I successfully sought to achieve improvements in policy. I am confident that this will be confirmed by the investigation that has been announced and in which I will obviously fully cooperate,’ Zalm said.
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