ABN AMRO: No conflicts of interest at the top
ABN AMRO rejects every suggestion that the bank faces structural monitoring and control problems. Reports in today’s issue of Het Financieele Dagblad and in the Nieuwsuur television broadcast last night suggest that ABN AMRO has insufficient knowledge of the private interests of the bank’s Supervisory Board members. The findings published by the journalist are based on an old study by the Dutch central bank, DNB, conducted in 2013. The issues addressed are out of date and have meanwhile been solved. The newspaper incorrectly reports that the bank has insufficient insight into the sideline positions and private interests of the members of the Supervisory Board and that the introduction of satisfactory measures to control the risk of conflicts of interest has been slow in coming.
In the spring of 2014, ABN AMRO’s Supervisory Board agreed to tighten procedures concerning the registration and monitoring of duties and positions outside the bank. The new procedure includes a duty to report sideline activities, limits to the number of non-executive positions a Supervisory Board member may have and aims to prevent conflicts of interest. Compliance with the procedures is monitored once every six months.
The bank has had a strict policy in place for many years now regulating the private investment transactions of its Supervisory Board members, and financial services provided to them. This policy has been set down in the Internal Regulations Supervisory Board (Reglement Raad van Commissarissen). Additionally, each member of the Supervisory Board – as are the members of the Managing Board – is bound by detailed regulations regarding conflicts of interest and is required to immediately report any actual or perceived conflict of interest. These regulations apply alongside the policy governing private investment transactions and financial services.
ABN AMRO is working on improving its operations every day, including internal procedures and systems. The regulator is informed of developments on a regular basis.