ABN AMRO regrets publication by Financieele Dagblad

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Today, Dutch financial daily Financieele Dagblad (FD) published an article about ABN AMRO in reaction to a letter from anonymous sources that had been sent to our Supervisory Board chairman Tom de Swaan. The letter had also been sent to FD.

The anonymous sources, who claim they are a group of some 40 senior managers that report to the bank’s ExCo, put forward several requests in their letter, including an interview with Tom de Swaan and whistleblower status.

FD article based on anonymous sources

FD has not demonstrated in any way that it knows the identity of all the letter writers and whether they were ABN AMRO employees, let alone whether they were a group of ‘senior managers’. FD’s article is based solely on several ‘insiders’ who apparently claim to confirm the story of the letter writers. In other words, the article is based only on anonymous sources ascertaining anonymous sources. Nevertheless, FD has chosen to publish a story on the allegations made with regard to the bank in the letter.

ABN AMRO has contested several of the allegations made in FD’s article and has challenged FD for its journalistic choice. ABN AMRO regrets the approach FD has taken in this context and completely disagrees with the impression created in the article and the letter. 

After FD had confronted ABN AMRO with the letter, Supervisory Board chairman Tom de Swaan and CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen gave an interview to FD, which you can read here (in Dutch).

Banking for better

ABN AMRO highly values open and transparent communication throughout its organisation and has in place multiple formal procedures, including a whistleblower policy. 

The bank fosters an open culture, where dissenting opinions are heard – this is also consistent with our new purpose: Banking for better, for generations to come. An essential part of that culture is being able to discuss day-to-day dilemmas, whether minor or major, with colleagues as well as with clients and other stakeholders. Our Employee Engagement Survey (EES), which is held in October every year, underlines that we do indeed have an open culture. EES scores for an open culture, space for expressing oneself and voicing one’s opinion have gone up, as has the overall EES score.

The Employee Council, too, disagrees with the impression conveyed by the article and strongly feels there are no obstructions to being able to express its opinion in an open and constructive dialogue.

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