Chairman of ING Barings resigns

THE CHAIRMAN of ING Barings, the investment bank, has resigned less than a fortnight after the firm warned it was slashing its profits forecast for the year and axing 1,200 staff worldwide.

Marinus Minderhoud, 52, has accepted personal responsibility for the "disappointing development of results from ING's corporate and investment banking activities".

He is the latest senior European banker to resign over investment-banking losses since the Russian crisis hit financial markets in August.

Credit Suisse First Bostonyesterday announced it was cutting 100 of its 300 Moscow-based staff.

The chairman of UBS and three senior directors quit on 2 October after disclosing $800m (pounds 468m) of losses on an investment in Long-Term Capital Management, the troubled hedge fund.

Although Mr Minderhoud's departure was understood to have been precipitated by complaints from the Dutch workers' council about the latest cutbacks, he has been under pressure internally for months because of the deepening strain in relations between what is left of Barings' traditional UK advisory business in London and ING's head office in Amsterdam.

Morale at Barings hit rock bottom earlier this year after two of its corporate finance stalwarts, James Lupton and Simon Borrows, quit in April over attempts to integrate Barings with ING's Western European and United States corporate business in the wake of the acquisition of the US corporate finance boutique Furman Selz.

Since then there have been further high-level departures, including the chief executive Arjun Mahrani and the chief risk officer Hanzo Idzerda.

David Robins, a former UBS man who took over from Mr Mahrani in July, will take over the day-to-day running of ING Barings. He will report to ING board member Michel Tilmant.

ING, Europe's fifth largest bank, acquired Barings after its collapse in 1995 at the hands of the rogue trader Nick Leeson.