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ING capping bonuses & swearing on Oath

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 03:44 PM

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There is no Dutch hostility, says ING fund CIO

By Madison Marriage
Hans Stoter

The Netherlands has emerged from the financial crisis with one of the toughest regulatory regimes in Europe for fund managers, but ING Investment Management’s chief investment officer, Hans Stoter, is relaxed about the impact on his business.

Mr Stoter, who took charge of the Dutch group’s investment operation last year, disagrees that domestic regulatory initiatives designed to weed out bad habits have fostered an environment of unease.

“No, [the regulatory environment] is not hostile,” says the 47-year-old, who oversees €177bn of assets. “Would I prefer a level playing field across Europe? Yes, of course, but I don’t foresee big problems for us as an asset manager in the Netherlands as a result of this.”

It is undeniable, however, that Dutch authorities have made life more difficult for the country’s largest financial institutions in an attempt to tackle public antipathy towards financial services.

The regulatory crackdown follows a series of sizeable government bailouts for many Dutch financial groups, including ING, ABN Amro, Aegon and SNS Reaal, which fuelled public anger towards the sector.

New measures include the introduction of the toughest pay regime in Europe from January 2015. The Dutch Ministry of Finance plans to limit bonuses for financial services staff to 20 per cent of fixed salary – far stricter than the 100 per cent bonus cap for bank staff elsewhere in Europe.

It also became mandatory last year for senior executives in Dutch financial institutions to swear an oath promising to act with integrity. The oath was extended to employees at all levels this year.


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