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ABN Amro fined $2.2 million for not disclosing CEO's retirement plan in 2016

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By Reuters
ABN Amro fined $2.2 million for not disclosing CEO's retirement plan in 2016
FILE PHOTO: ABN AMRO logo is seen at the headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw   -   Copyright  Piroschka Van De Wouw(Reuters)

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch financial regulator said on Thursday it had fined lender ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> 2 million euros (£1.7 million) for failing to inform the market about the imminent departure of its chief executive officer in 2016.

Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad in July 2016 reported that ABN had started to look for a successor for CEO Gerrit Zalm, who was expected to announce his retirement before the end of that year.

The bank denied comment at the time and only in September 2016 announced that Zalm would leave.

Financial market regulator AFM said ABN’s refusal to disclose its plans after the publication of the article was a “serious and grave” breach of transparency rules, aimed at making sure that all investors are informed about important news at the same time.

ABN Amro has said it felt no obligation to comment on the paper’s report, as decisions on Zalm’s future were not final at the time.

An ABN spokesman said on Thursday the bank was studying the regulator’s decision.

Zalm was succeeded by former chief financial officer Kees van Dijkhuizen in January 2017. Van Dijkhuizen is set to leave the bank in April 2020 and ABN has not named his successor yet.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by David Evans)