Tuesday 11 September 2018 10:15 am

ING CFO steps down in wake of money laundering scandal

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ING’s chief financial officer is leaving the company over a money laundering scandal that cost the bank €775m (£698.15m).

Koos Timmermans will step down from the Dutch bank in light of the bank’s failure to prevent widespread money laundering through its Netherlands division, for which Timmermans was ultimately responsible for a number of years.

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“We deeply regret the shortcomings found and take this matter very seriously,” said Hans Wijers, chairman of the supervisory board of ING.

“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.

“We have a serious task ahead of us and the executive board is fully committed to completing the various initiatives we have started at ING Netherlands to further strengthen our handling of compliance risks.”

The Dutch bank failed to carry out due diligence and allowed the “structural infringement” of Netherlands money laundering laws between 2010 and 2016.

"The result is that clients have been able to use ING NL's accounts for criminal activities almost undisturbed for years," the Dutch Public Prosecution Service said last week.

Timmermans, who joined the bank in 1996, served on the relevant management board during that six-year span, and for several years was responsible for ING Netherlands.

“We want to thank Koos for his many years of dedication to ING. His efforts to align the bank's balance sheet with new and upcoming regulation have strongly contributed to the robust financial foundation ING has today,” added Wijers.

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The bank admitted “serious shortcomings” in how it applied due diligence policies in the money laundering period.

It said no individuals at the bank were to blame, but cited a collective failure among management. It’s taken a series of measures against former senior staff responsible for preventing financial economic crime, including withholding pay and suspending duties.