ING bank chief Jan Hommen to waive bonus after outcry

Jan Hommen Jan Hommen said he and his board underestimated the strength of feeling over bonuses

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Jan Hommen, chief executive of Dutch bank ING, has said he will forgo his 1.25m euros (£1m) bonus and told other managers to do likewise.

The decision follows a public outcry and threats of a customer boycott of the bailed-out bank.

His bonus for 2010 was on top of a 1.35m-euro salary.

Mr Hommen said ING had underestimated the negative public reaction, adding that he did not want to hurt the bank's image.

News of the bonus plan sparked an outcry among Dutch MPs, trade unions and bank customers, especially after it emerged that ING staff pensions were being frozen for a second year running.

Mr Hommen said in a statement: "I am very sorry to note that the performance-related bonuses for the board over 2010 threaten to damage the recovering confidence from customers and the general public."

He and the ING board of directors "had underestimated the signal" that these bonuses would give society at large.

ING received a 10bn-euro bail-out during the financial crisis. It has repaid half the money, and says it will pay back the rest within two years.

Mr Hommen said he will now be eligible for a bonus only once the remaining 5bn euros in state aid has been repaid.

The Dutch government is planning to stop banks which have had state aid from paying bonuses to senior staff until the debt has been cleared.

In February, ING reported a 2010 net profit of 3.22bn euros, reversing a 935m-euro loss in 2009.

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