World News

ABN Amro names PwC’s former Dutch chairman as new CEO

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> said on Thursday that Robert Swaak, a former chairman of accounting firm PwC in the Netherlands, is to succeed Kees van Dijkhuizen as the Dutch bank’s chief executive.

Swaak will take over from Van Dijkhuizen at the company’s annual meeting April 22, pending regulatory and shareholder approval, the bank said in a statement.

His appointment comes as the bank is under investigation by Dutch prosecutors who allege the group failed to detect, report and prevent suspicious transactions.

Chairman Tom de Swaan said Swaak was a seasoned veteran who would give a high priority to “improvement programs relating to Detecting Financial Crime (DFC), promoting public-private cooperation on DFC and compliance with the growing number of rules and regulations.”

Swaak, 59, said in a statement he was looking forward to the job including the challenges it would entail.

Van Dijkhuizen has been ABN’s CEO since 2017, and was CFO when the bank returned to the stock market in 2015 after it was nationalized during the 2008 financial crisis.

The Dutch state continues to hold a 56% stake in ABN, which does the majority of its business in the Netherlands.

The bank’s shares have fallen 23% over the past year, despite a strong Dutch economy, due to falling European interest rates and worries over the size of any potential fines resulting from the money laundering investigation.

Larger rival ING <INGA.AS> was fined $900 million in 2018 for money laundering failures.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)