ABN Amro CEO nearly fired in '14 over pay raises: Finance Min.

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Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem said he considered firing ABN Amro CEO Gerrit Zalm because he wanted to increase salaries of six co-directors, reports AD. He decided against it after concluding the bank would stick to its earlier action plan, approved by Parliament and the Finance Ministry, Dijsselbloem said Thursday in a session with MPs.

In October, he wanted to make it clear to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, that ABN Amro's top management would claim a salary increase of 100,000 euros, writes De Telegraaf. The management had had that right for two years, but did not exercise it during that time.

"In that I fell short; I also think that myself," Dijsselbloem said about not stating things clearly enough for MPs and the public

Dijsselbloem assured the Tweede Kamer that although ABN Amro remains owned by the state, the bank's board will not claim a salary increase. “It was agreed with [ABN Amro's] board of directors and the supervisory board,” Dijsselbloem said. “There is no document, but it is firmly agreed.”

He reaffirmed his earlier sentiment that an initial public offering of ABN Amro is possible in 2015, but only after trust and confidence in the bank is fully restored.