"That ING received the highest fine imposed in the history of the Netherlands, and for money laundering, is a black chapter in the national financial world. There are no nuances: it is a criminal offense. " Wopke Hoekstra, the Christian Democrat minister of Finance, has been forceful on Wednesday when describing the corrupt practices discovered in the bank, which lasted between 2010 and 2106. The State Prosecutor General's Office imposed a fine of 775 million euros on ING for negligence, and the financial director lost his job, but Hoekstra has admitted that "although there are no signs to indicate it, we have no guarantee that it will not happen again."
The Dutch Finance Minister made the remarks during a meeting with the foreign press held at the headquarters of his ministry in The Hague. In the talk, has slipped in turn that "money laundering also takes place in other countries." "It is naive to think that it is exceptional, but precisely because it is monitored and controlled, the case of ING has surfaced.
The Dutch Central Bank has done everything possible to see what happened, and will do what is necessary so that it does not happen again, "he added. His ministry asked the Central Bank if it has sufficient resources to control the situation, and if it is necessary to change the laws to prevent money laundering. "He told us that he has the capacity to do so, and also that the current regulations are adequate. They do not believe there are other cases, although, again, it can not be guaranteed. "
Layoffs in the group
In addition to the fine for allowing the laundering of capital, Koos Timmermans, financial director and member of the Executive Board of the ING Group, lost his job and leave the company. Would not it be better if Ralph Hamers, the CEO, had resigned? "The financial management is a very serious charge, and in ING it was considered appropriate for him to be. That decision is up to them, "the minister replied. Did ING think he was untouchable?, because he received several notices [por parte del Banco de Holanda]? At this point, and after a short silence, Minister Hoekstra has indicated that "after the prosecution entered the Group, the public prosecutor accepted the steps taken by the bank to prevent further incidents."
The politician has devoted part of the appointment to evaluate the Brexit course, "a tragedy that I would like to avoid", as he has repeated three times. "It will happen, and we hope it will be as smooth as possible, but it does not respond to the interests of the EU, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom itself." In his opinion, one of the biggest problems of the Brexit, "is that for years it has not been known very well what was happening in the United Kingdom with this issue, and that has complicated things to the rest of the EU; that's why we ask, and now we wait for clarity. " "Because these days, if you read three British newspapers, it says three different things about it," he pointed out.