Court issues ruling regarding 2018 settlement
The Court of Appeal in The Hague today issued its final ruling in the legal proceeding resulting from a third party complaint regarding the prosecutor’s decision to enter into a settlement agreement with ING in September 2018, related to shortcomings in the execution of policies to prevent financial economic crime at ING Netherlands. In its ruling the Court upholds the prosecutors' decision to enter into the settlement agreement with ING. However, in a separate ruling, the Court ordered the prosecution of ING’s former CEO.
We welcome the ruling regarding ING but regret the decision to order the prosecution of our former CEO, which goes against the assessment of the public prosecutors that, based on the investigation, there are no grounds for a case against ING employees or former employees.
While these rulings mean there will be no further direct steps in this procedure for ING, we will continue our efforts to enhance the management of compliance risks and embed stronger awareness across the whole organisation. As a gatekeeper to the financial system, ING has an important responsibility to help protect customers, society and the financial system against financial economic crime. This is a challenge the financial industry faces globally. ING takes its responsibility extremely seriously.
The steps ING has taken in this regard are part of the global programme in all markets that we are active in. The programme comprises a set of initiatives, which include enhancing customer files (KYC) and working on various structural improvements in compliance policies, tooling, monitoring, governance, and knowledge and behaviour. Over 4,000 FTE are currently involved in our KYC efforts.
Fighting financial economic crime can be much more successful if banks, authorities, law enforcement and private and public parties join forces, on national and international levels. Effectiveness is improved by shared intelligence, collaboration and third-party partnerships, which is why we strongly support initiatives to collectively fight financial crime.