Four wise men to probe DSB collapse

A committee made up of three professors and a former KPMG accountant is to investigate the collapse of DSB bank, finance minister Wouter Bos told MPs on Thursday.

The committee, chaired by company law profesor Michiel Scheltema, will also look at the performance of DSB’s own boards and the finance sector regulators – the central bank and AFM – as well as the finance ministry.
DSB bank collapsed last week after a run prompted by unhappy customers. It later emerged the bank had been under central bank supervison for several weeks and the bank’s owner has accused the authorities of leaking information to the media.
Finance minister Wouter Bos said he had decided to combine the two separate investigations he originally promised into a single probe.
‘We hope professor Scheltema will be able to give insight into the facts, considerations and conclusions about the expertise and trustworthiness of the regulators by December,’ Bos said in a note to MPs.
The rest of the investigation will take longer, he said.
But MPs said it will take too long before it becomes apparent if ABN Amro’s current CEO Gerrit Zalm and other officials failed to do their jobs properly.
Liberal MP Frans Weekers said he is ‘disappointed, if not furious’ about the structure of the probe. ‘This is not a full investigation of the facts. We will only be given the conclusions. I have the feeling that Bos wants to hush it up and that is unacceptable,’ the Financieele Dagblad quoted him as saying.
The Christian Democrats and VVD MPs have called for an emergency debate next week.
But left wing MPs said they were pleased at the committee’s independence. A number of prominent VVD members and former ministers served on DSB’s management and supervisory boards and have close connections with the central bank.
The other committee members are law professor Edgar du Perron, financial markets professor Kees Koedijk and former KPMG accountant Leo Graafsma. Du Perron was involved in the investigation into the collapse of Icelandic bank Icesave earlier this year.

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