ABN Amro IT takes share of blame for mortgage malpractice

ABN Amro has fired a number of mortgage advisors for forging client signatures in revised documentation, but the Dutch bank has also taken its share o

ABN Amro has fired a number of mortgage advisors for forging client signatures in revised documentation, but the Dutch bank has also taken its share of the blame after an investigation uncovered clunky IT systems and poor management as major contributing factors.

ABN Amro has released a report into the affair which found that 114 of its mortgage brokers copied, and in some cases forged client signatures in 2013-2016 in order to finish amended applications.

However, only a small number of those involved have been dismissed following an internal investigation which put much of the blame squarely on the shoulders of the bank and its internal procedures.

Among other things, the probe found that advisors worked with an IT system that did not provide optimum support and the systems were not always compatible with each other.

“As a result, they often had to solve things manually, causing delays in the process,” says the bank.

There was also too much distance between the employees who designed new mortgage policies and the developers of the IT support systems on the one hand and the advisors who have to work with these policies and systems on the other.

Failures in management oversight and stress-inducing sales targets were also picked up as contributor factors.

Frans van der Horst, CEO of ABN Amro retail banking, says: “Every copied signature is one too many – it’s unacceptable. But given how complex we have made this procedure for our people, I do understand the difficult position we have put them in. As an organisation, we too are at fault.”

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