Dutch banking group ABN Amro has confirmed that Gerrit Zalm will step down from his role as CEO next year even though his contract runs until 2018.

Zalm, served as the Dutch Minister of Finance from 1994 to 2002, took charge of the Dutch bank during the financial crunch in 2009.

 “After the bank’s split-up, merger and IPO, Mr Zalm has decided to make way for a new Chairman who will be able to lead the bank for a longer period of time. The Supervisory Board respects his decision,” the Dutch lender in short statement said.

The statement added that the bank’s supervisory board has already initiated the process for searching a replacement and would unveil details as they become available.