The investigation into the collapse of DSB bank in October and the role of former finance minister Gerrit Zalm and other board members will be completed in January, two months behind schedule, finance minister Wouter Bos said on Tuesday.
The delay is necessary because the committee needs more time to make a careful judgement of the facts, Bos said.
Zalm, a former finance minister who is in charge of merging ABN Amro and Fortis Nederland, worked for DSB for over a year, partly as CFO. Several newspapers have published claims that Zalm was well aware of the mis-selling of mortgages and insurance policies at DSB and had defended the bank’s actions to the financial sector regulators.
Earlier on Tuesday, the head of the investigation committee Michiel Scheltema and central bank president Nout Wellink held a meeting with MPs behind closed doors to discuss the investigation’s progress.
MPs have called for quick answers. ‘Sometimes the Netherlands seems like a banana republic,’ Liberal VVD MP Frans Weekers was quoted as saying.
In a statement on RTLZ tv last week, Zalm said he was fully confident about the outcome of the investigation.
The Telegraaf reported on Monday that Bos has already been sounding people out about replacing Zalm.
However, Bos said after Tuesday’s meeting he had full confidence in the ABN Amro CEO. ‘You cannot judge someone before you have all the facts in front of you. You have to be careful. I have the utmost confidence in Zalm,’ the Financieele Dagblad quoted the minister as saying.
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