Former finance minister Gerrit Zalm may lose his job as CEO at ABN Amro if reports about mistakes made when he was chief financial officer at bankrupt bank DSB are true, finance minister Wouter Bos told tv programme RTLZ on Tuesday evening.
An independent inquiry is currently under way into the collapse of the bank and the role of its directors. ‘Then we will make our judgement,’ Bos said. ‘If carefuI research shows Zalm made mistakes, we will have to think again about his future at ABN Amro.’
Zalm is currently in charge of merging ABN Amro and Fortis Nederland into a single, state-owned bank.
An article in this weekend’s Volkskrant said Zalm was well aware of over-selling at the bank and had defended the bank’s policies to the financial service sector regulators. Bos said the article was based on ‘very anonymous sources’ and it is impossible to say what is accurate.
Also on Tuesday evening, TV show EénVandaag said it had obtained a letter signed by Zalm and the other directors defending DSB’s loan policy. The letter also stated that DSB had set up its own bailiffs operation which ‘suggested’ to defaulters that they agreed to pay part of their wages directly to DSB in lieu of the loan.
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