ABN Amro board member Meerstadt resigns after 'Panama Papers' report

The head office of ABN AMRO bank is seen in Amsterdam May 29, 2007. REUTERS/Koen van Weel

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A prominent member of the supervisory board of Dutch bank ABN Amro ABNd.AS resigned on Thursday, a day after he was named in a Dutch newspaper in connection with the "Panama Papers" leaks.

In a statement Bert Meerstadt said he had already planned to step down from the bank’s board later this year but had decided to do so immediately to avoid any “negative effects” on the bank following the newspaper report.

He said “for the time being” he would not answer any further questions raised by the report.

On Wednesday Het Financieele Dagblad did not allege any wrongdoing but questioned why Bert Meerstadt’s name appeared on a 2001 document found in the data archive leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca as a founding shareholder of a company called Morclan Corporation, initially registered in the Virgin Islands and soon afterwards moved to Guernsey.

In reaction Meerstadt was quoted in the report as saying he had no knowledge of Morclan Corp and suggested someone else might have put his name on the document without his knowledge.

Meerstadt, a former head of the management board at Dutch railways company NS Groep, was also quoted as saying that he planned to leave ABN Amro’s board in the course of 2016 as he held too many other board positions.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Greg Mahlich