It’s a drag for chief teaching bank about core values

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ABN Amro chairman and former Dutch finance minister Gerrit Zalm went on stage in an electric blue dress and golden gloves to portray a fictional brothel-owning sister teaching the bank about core values.

“The bank can learn a lot from the best practices in my company,” Zalm, dressed as his “sister” Priscilla, said in the opening act of ABN Amro Cabaret 2014, held for employees in Amsterdam and two other Dutch cities this month. “Where has putting the customer first been the motto for centuries? In my industry. Those banks have discovered it only recently.”

ABN Amro showed a recording of one of Zalm’s six performances to reporters on Friday and posted footage on YouTube.

Zalm, 61, was hired by the Netherlands in 2008 to piece together the banking assets of a merged ABN and Fortis that it took over after the latter collapsed, costing the government e16.8 billion (R247bn). “He had to make ABN Amro a successful company again and had no idea how to do that,” Priscilla (Zalm) said. “I told him you have to start with core values. In my company there are three: to be trusted, professional and ambitious.”

The government said in August last year that it planned to sell the bank in an initial public offering next year at the earliest. – Bloomberg

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