NETHERLANDS - Dutch custody services group KAS Bank says Peter Goebel will not now take over from chairman F.S. von Balluseck.

KAS Bank announced in November last year that the former ABN Amro and Achmea executive would join in January 2004.

It said in a statement today that Goebel had withdrawn “for personal reasons”.

“The present chairman of the Managing Board Mr. F.S. von Balluseck will, if required, continue to perform his duties after his retirement in the fourth quarter of 2004,” it said. Von Balluseck, 61, had been set to retire in October 2004.

Bob Goulooze, head of public relations and communications, said the move was a surprise and that von Balluseck would remain in post as long as necessary. He was not able to elaborate on the reasons for Goebel’s decision, adding that KAS Bank would be looking for a new chairman.

Last month KAS Bank won a 19 billion-euro mandate for the custody and administration of European bonds and Dutch equities from Aegon Asset Management Netherlands.

In September, KAS Bank reported a 29% decline in operational net profit to 8.2 million euros in the first half. Custody and investment management services commission income slipped 10% to 11.2 million euros.