NETHERLANDS - Ed Nijpels, chairman of the €180bn civil service pension scheme ABP, said he will resign if investigations into the collapsed DSB bank reveal facts that could hamper his work at ABP.

"Although I would seriously regret stepping back, the interests of ABP will be most important," stated Nijpels in an open letter on ABP's website.

Both financial supervisors De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and Financial Markets Authority (AFM), as well as parliament, have announced investigations into the demise of DSB, which was declared to be in administration earlier this month.

Jos van Dijk, a spokeswoman for ABP, said Nijpels' response was triggered by dozens of questions from ABP participants about his role at DSB bank, where he had previously acted as a member of the supervisory board.

DSB folded earlier this month after many savers withdrew their deposits, following accusations claiming the bank had aggressively coupled the sale of unnecessary insurance policies - carrying what are said to be disproportionate commissions - with its mortgages.

Responding to the latest developments, Cees de Lange, chairman of NBP, a lobbying organisation for pension funds' participants, argued: "Nijpels' letter is too little too late. He should resign now, in order to restore participants' confidence in ABP and in pension funds in general.

"Nijpels was the longest serving governor at DSB, and he resigned there at the last moment," continued De Lange.

NBP had criticised Nijpels' appointment for his previous lack of expertise in the pensions sector as well as still holding many jobs aside from his ABP role.

The NBP claims approximately 80% of its 12,000 members are participants of the civil service scheme.

Nijpels was appointed chairman from 1 August, succeeding interim chairman Harry Borghouts, who stepped down in July, following political pressure from the county council of Noord-Holland, where he was also chairman.

Borghouts' early departure was related to the county's loss of €86m through its investment in the collapsed Icelandic banc Icesave.

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