ING bank fined €775m by Dutch authorities

ING bank sign and logo.

Dutch bank ING (EPA: INGA) has been fined €775 million (£698 million) following criminal investigations by prosecutors.

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service (DPPS) investigated the bank and found errors in its policies to stop financial crime.

Ralph Hamers, chief executive of ING, said the lender took “full responsibility”.

Hamers added that the bank’s operations must “meet the highest standards” and that not doing so was “unacceptable”.

The investigation into the Dutch lender found that whilst individual ING staff were not found personally helping customers who may have used the bank for potential criminal activities, it was the fault of “collective shortcomings at all responsible management levels”.

The chief executive of the lender in the Netherlands, Vincent van den Boogert, said: “We are taking a number of robust measures to strengthen our compliance risk management and support a strong risk culture and will be making further improvements to ensure we can play a full role in contributing to protecting the integrity of the financial system.”

Dutch prosecutors said in a statement: “Clients for years were able to make use of ING bank accounts for criminal activities pretty much undisturbed.”

“ING should have seen that the money streams that ran through those bank accounts possibly were coming from crime.”

“The bank was fined €675 million and also ordered to pay another €100 million for disgorgement, to make up for not spending enough on staffing in the six-year period.”

The deal with the DPPS is related to previous investigations regarding the various requirements for the prevention of money laundering, client on-boarding and other corrupt practices.

The group has started to introduce measures against former employees in senior management positions who had a broader responsibility for safeguarding.