Top three at ING Group waive bonuses

ING Group’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief risk officer waived their bonuses following investor outrage.

ING Groep NV’s chief executive Jan Hommen was due to receive an additional €1.25m ($1.78m) in compensation alongside his €1.35m salary for 2010, but chose to waive his bonus and instructed the rest of the executive board to do the same.

Hommen, alongside chief financial officer Patrick Flynn, and chief risk officer Koos Timmermans, gave up their respective bonuses as well as a 2% increase to their 2011 base salary.

Flynn had a base salary of €454,000, and Timmermans earned €665,000, as per the Group’s 2009 annual report.

Hommen said he underestimated the reaction of investors to him and others accepting the bonus, which met revised compensation guidelines.

“To my regret, I have to acknowledge that the variable pay awarded to the executive board for 2010 is threatening to damage the recovering confidence of our customers and society, which our staff has been rebuilding day-by-day and step-by-step.

“After discussion with the supervisory board, we have concluded that we misinterpreted the signal this would send to Dutch society,” he said.

The Dutch banking group is under scrutiny from its investors following a government bailout during the financial crisis in 2008.

It is currently making efforts to rebuild, owing half of the €10bn it originally borrowed.

The Group hopes to reduce that amount to €3bn in May, with a planned €2bn repurchase of core Tier 1 securities from the Dutch government.

In a note announcing the intention to waive his bonus and those of the rest of the ING Group executive board entitled “What really motivates me”, Hommen said none of the three will receive bonuses until the full amount is repaid.

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