Tuesday 02 June 2020

Scandals may cost ING Amsterdam city council role

ING may lose its role as Amsterdam city council’s official bank because of the recent furore surrounding both money laundering and the salary of chief executive Ralph Hamers, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday.

The paper said that Amsterdam alderman Udo Kock is going to bring forward the tendering process for banking services to this year and that he plans to make compliance a key issue.

Last week it emerged that ING had agreed to pay €775m in an out of court settlement to cover its shortcomings in applying anti-money laundering laws properly. Kock told the FD he wanted to send a signal to both banks and Amsterdammers.

‘The commotion surrounding the bank, first over the chief executive’s pay package and then about compliance, is making my job more difficult,’ he said. ‘Brexit has given us a golden opportunity to attract companies, including banks, to Amsterdam. But the questions I am going to face will all be about compliance.’

The bank has provided good work for the city and is an important driver of innovation, Kock said. ‘But I cannot close my eyes to what has happened,’ he told the paper.

Amsterdam has an annual budget of some €5bn and carries out millions of transactions a year. ‘There are not that many banks which can cope with this,’ Kock said.

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