Amsterdam’s mayor Job Cohen has called on the country’s banks to invest in brothels as part of his efforts to clean up the sex industry. A large number of the capital’s brothels are set to close because the owners have had their licences withdrawn after failing integrity tests.
Cohen said that banks could help reduce crime in the red light district if they were prepared to invest in legitimate businesses. Prostitutes should also be able to get mortgages to open their own brothels, he said. He hopes to hold talks with the banks in the next few weeks.
Banking representatives told the Volkskrant there was no ban on investing in the sex industry and loan applications were assessed on merit.
Han Jahae, lawyer for brothel owner Charles Geerts who is set to lose his licence to operate around one third of Amsterdam’s red light district windows, said he doubted banks would get involved. ‘Even accountancy firms are reluctant to take on sex industry clients,’ he told the Volkskrant.
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