The Dutch Waterboard Bank has been conned out of €12m by one or more people posing as a local authority representative and has made a formal complaint to the public prosecution department about the swindle.
The NWB says in a press release that ‘false documents’ were used to obtain payments, but that the amount involved is ‘not enough to damage the bank’s material position’.
According to local paper BN De Stem, the perpetrator posed as a representative of Steenbergen local council in Noord-Brabant to apply for the loan, which was granted and paid out. Officials only realised they had been conned in mid January when the first payment demand arrived at the council offices.
‘We are really shocked,’ mayor Ruud van den Belt told the paper. ‘And the weird thing is, we don’t do any business with the bank. It is all very odd.’
Local councillors are now calling on officials to be completely open about what has happened. ‘Was someone from the council involved? Did our digital security fail or is it purely a matter for the bank?’ VVD councillor Kees Gommeren said.
The NWB Bank itself said it is not making any further statements in the interests of the investigation.
The bank was founded in 1954 to provide finance for local water boards, and continues to serve the public sector. It is supervised by the European Central Bank.