Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 15:42
ABN Amro: Finance minister approved exec. pay hikes
Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem approved the controversial ABN Amro executive board pay raise and promised to defend it publicly in spring 2014, according to a memo ABN Amro put together in August 2014, and acquired by NRC. The letter refers to a meeting held on March 7th last year, in which Dijsselbloem supposedly promised to defend the allowance payment and "expressed his satisfaction with the manner the compensation discussion has been resolved," NRC reports. The letter was signed by ABN Amro CEO Gerrit Zalm and chairman of the supervisory board Rik van Slingelandt. The minister admits approving the pay raise plans that were developed in 2012 and acknowledging the later approval for the allowance as well. However he states that in the light of current social circumstances it is unwise to put a two-year old plans into action. Minister Dijsselbloem publicly objected to the executive board pay raise following the new restrictions on banker bonuses in place this year. Last Friday, he decided to postpone the bank's sale due to the public commotion following the increased salary announcement. After the meeting of Council of Ministers, Dijsselbloem spoke of the raise as being a wrong signal that was poorly understood. "It is a matter of morality. Or do you find it justified for the employees that for years have been sitting on the baseline or for the thousands who lost their jobs," he wondered.