Banking disciplinary committee clears former ING boss pay rise

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The proposed salary increase for former ING chief Ralph Hamers in 2018, at a time the bank was being investigated over money laundering, was unhelpful, but not wrong, the banking sector’s disciplinary committee has confirmed.

The extra payment did not mean Hamers had broken the banking code of conduct when he was awarded a 50% pay rise to just over €3 million a year, the committee said.

At the time, ING was involved in a money laundering scandal which eventually cost it €775 million in fines. The supervisory board withdrew the pay offer after a public outcry.

Hamers, who is now chief executive of Swiss bank UBS where his pay is €12 million, said later the proposed pay rise was a major error of judgement.

Hundreds of customers are thought to have closed their accounts in protest at the pay rise and the proposal was condemned as ‘arrogant’ and ‘out of touch’ by politicians across the political spectrum.

The public prosecution department reached a €775m out of court settlement with ING for failing to properly monitor money transfers for potential money laundering in September 2018.

The department said between 2010 and 2016, the bank’s clients were effectively able to launder hundreds of millions of euros because ING was not doing its job properly. Banks are required by law to report suspicious transactions.

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