ABN AMRO is today issuing an update on the current investigation into previously ascertained irregularities at its Private Banking office in Dubai.
As previously announced by ABN AMRO, the bank initiated an extensive investigation in response to whistle-blower’s reports on its Private Banking office in Dubai. The investigation yielded evidence indicating the involvement of an employee of the ABN AMRO Dubai office (Private Banking) in an unusual transaction. It has been ascertained that in early 2014, the employee received an amount of money (less than 100.000 USD) from a Private Banking client of ABN AMRO Dubai and subsequently transferred that amount through his personal account with another bank to the account of a third party. In doing so, the employee violated the applicable rules and policies.
The transaction in question was carried out via accounts with other banks, meaning the transaction was invisible to ABN AMRO’s internal control systems. There has been no misappropriation of funds of ABN AMRO clients or other third parties, and no clients have filed any complaints or claims. The bank itself has not suffered any losses or damages to date.
Immediately after the findings were reported, the Managing Board decided to follow the standard procedure applicable to this situation. The Managing Board decided to terminate the employment relationship with the employee with immediate effect, in accordance with the zero-tolerance policy that ABN AMRO applies to safeguard compliance with applicable legislation, regulations and internal codes of conduct. The Managing Board has notified the supervisory authorities in the Netherlands (DNB) and Dubai (DFSA) and the ABN AMRO Supervisory Board, and will continue to do so during the investigation, which is still in progress.
In addition, as part of the local reassessment of the client portfolio of the Private Banking office in Dubai, 60% of the bank’s 1,100 client files have been re-evaluated. As a result, the bank has terminated the relationship with clients who fail to comply with the high standards that ABN AMRO maintains for client acceptance and client transactions worldwide. ABN AMRO has also taken measures to further strengthen its international governance, in part by tightening reporting lines and procedures for escalation to head office.
ABN AMRO expects to complete the entire investigation in the fourth quarter of this year. The supervisory authorities (DNB and DFSA) have initiated local investigations, which have not yet been completed.