Netherlands: The incoming chief executive of Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV made a “moral appeal” on Monday for his senior staff to pay back their 2008 bonuses.
The call by Jan Hommen comes with ING under fire for handing its new chief financial officer 100,000 ING shares as part of his enlistment package, despite a government bailout of billions of euros to prop up the banking and insurance group.
Some ING managers have indicated they were prepared to relinquish their bonuses, Hommen was quoted as saying in an interview published on Monday in the daily De Volkskrant.
“That is why we are asking the top 1,200 (managers) to give up their bonus,” he said. No bonuses were planned for this year, he said, and the group is reviewing its policy on pay packages.
ING reportedly paid out €300 million in bonuses for 2008.
In February, ING reported a net loss of €3.1 billion for the previous quarter and said it planned to cut operating costs by euro1 billion in 2009.
The shortfall was caused by losses of €1.07 billion at ING’s banking arm, mostly due to larger provisions for bad loans, and €2.04 billion at its insurance arm, primarily because of investments gone sour.
Dutch finance minister Wouter Bos welcomed ING’s decision, but said it did not go far enough.
“It’s a good start,” he said. “We will announce this week a number of measures and the main rule will be that if you are supported by the government, the tax payer, then there is no room for bonuses.”