Rabobank to Name Draijer as Chairman After Libor Fine Last Year

Rabobank Groep, fined 774 million euros ($1.07 billion) in October for rigging interest rates, plans to appoint Wiebe Draijer as chairman, succeeding interim chief Rinus Minderhoud.

Draijer, 48, is head of the Netherlands’ Social and Economic Council, an organization of employer and union representatives that advises the government on policy matters. The appointment needs regulatory approval, Utrecht, Netherlands-based Rabobank said in a statement today.

Minderhoud has been chairman since Oct. 29, when Piet Moerland resigned after Rabobank was fined by global regulators over the manipulation of interest rates. The bank, a cooperative formed in 1898 to serve farmers, is seeking to boost profitability and strengthen its capital buffers as limited growth is forecast for the Dutch economy.

“Rabobank will benefit from his industrial and strategic expertise and his societal leadership,” Supervisory Board Chairman Wout Dekker said in the statement. “Wiebe Draijer is recognized for his ability in bridging leadership; in bringing together various parties with a diversity of interests. This is exactly what Rabobank is looking for.”

Draijer was previously a managing partner for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at McKinsey & Co. Rabobank said it would give further information on his appointment after receiving regulatory clearance.

Rabobank, the biggest Dutch mortgage lender, is among financial institutions fined a total of about $6 billion since June 2012 for manipulating Libor, the benchmark interest rate for more than $360 trillion of securities worldwide. More banks face penalties this year and over a dozen people have been charged in parallel U.S. and U.K. probes.

Rabobank plans to cut as many as 10,000 Dutch jobs by 2016 and to lift its core Tier 1 ratio, a key measure of financial strength, to 14 percent in that year from 13.5 percent in 2013. The bank sold asset-management arm Robeco last year and agreed to sell its Polish bank to BNP Paribas SA in December for about 1 billion euros.

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