The Court of Appeals in The Hague has decided to prosecute Ralph Hamers, former CEO of the Dutch bank ING and current CEO of the Swiss bank UBS, for its responsibility in the deficiencies in the fight against money laundering detected in the orange entity and for which ING agreed in 2018 to pay 775 million to settle the investigations.
The Dutch Court has determined this Wednesday not to reopen the case against the Dutch bank, but has instead decided to investigate the role played by Hamers, CEO of ING between 2013 and June 2020, in relation to the deficiencies detected in the fight against money laundering between 2010 and 2016.
In a statement, the Dutch entity has declared its «satisfaction with the ING ruling but We regret the decision to order the prosecution of our former CEO, which goes against the assessment of the prosecutors that, based on the investigation, there is no basis for a case against employees or former employees of ING.
In this sense, ING has stressed that, although the decision of the Court of Appeals of The Hague supposes that there will be no further actions within this procedure against the entity, this insist in your effort to improve compliance risk management and incorporate increased awareness throughout the organization.
For its part, UBS “takes note” of the Dutch court’s decision to order the prosecutor to launch an investigation into Ralph Hamers, in his capacity as former CEO of ING, underlining that “Has full confidence in Ralph Hamers’ ability to lead UBS.”
Agreement with the Dutch prosecutor’s office
In September 2018, the ING group reached an agreement with the Netherlands Public Prosecutor’s Office to pay 775 million euros in exchange for closing investigations into deficiencies in the prevention of money laundering and corrupt practices at its Dutch subsidiary, ING Netherlands, between 2010 and 2016.
The agreement reached with the Dutch authorities entails the payment of a fine of 675 million euros as a reflection of «the severity, scope and duration of the deficiencies detected », as well as a further € 100 million in restitution for the lower expenditure on personnel and processes by ING Netherlands during the period under review.
Hamers became last November the new CEO of the Swiss bank UBS replacing Sergio P. Ermotti, after having directed ING since October 2013. On his side, Steven van Rijswijk, a veteran of the Dutch entity, took over the reins of the orange bank since July 1.