Risk & Compliance

ING CFO Resigns After Money-Laundering Probe

The Dutch bank says "it is appropriate that responsibility is taken at [the] executive board level" for shortcomings in its anti-money laundering p...
Matthew HellerSeptember 11, 2018

ING Groep CFO Koos Timmermans is stepping down amid a money-laundering scandal that has resulted in a 775 million euro ($900 million) fine against the Dutch bank.

Timmermans’ resignation came only a week after ING disclosed “serious shortcomings” in the execution of its anti-money laundering policies from 2010 to 2016. As part of a settlement with Dutch prosecutors, it agreed to pay a fine of 675 million euros and 100 million euros in disgorgement.

The bank had said the shortcomings were “not attributable to individual persons but rather were collective shortcomings at all responsible management levels, i.e. business, compliance and control functions.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs

Download our whitepaper to discover the technical and behavioral skills needed to lead your business forward.

But amid criticism of the bank by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and others, ING on Tuesday said Timmermans, a 12-year company veteran, would be leaving the job he has held since May 2017.

“We deeply regret the shortcomings found and take this matter very seriously,” Hans Wijers, chairman of ING’s board, said in a news release. “Given the seriousness of the matter and the many reactions among stakeholders since the announcement and in the interest of the bank, we came to the conclusion it is appropriate that responsibility is taken at executive board level.”

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service’s investigation found that lax anti-money laundering controls at ING allowed customers to launder millions of euros through bank accounts. The deficiencies included missing or incomplete customer due diligence files and assignment of incorrect risk classifications.

As Reuters reports, “Public criticism over the bank’s failings has swelled in the days since news of the settlement emerged,” with Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra saying the matter had “shaken public faith in the banking sector yet again.”

Opposition political parties have called for ING to be stripped of its position as official banker to the Dutch government.

Lawmakers welcomed the news of Timmermans’ resignation. “Only a fine for ING, while the top of the bank went free, felt inadequate,” said Parliament member Joost Snellers.

Others suggested Timmermans had been scapegoated to protect ING Chief Executive Ralph Hamers but Wijers said Hamers has the “full support” of the board.