Economists warn government to get tough on banks

Parliament should intervene directly in the banking sector in order to head off the risk of another crisis, three senior economists and a former Rabobank banker told television show Nieuwsuur on Tuesday night.

The four told the show that nothing has changed since 2008, when billions of euros were spent on propping up the banks. In particular, they want the government to ensure separation of banks’ commercial activities from their role as keeper of private individuals’ cash.
The economists also warn that bankers move in restricted circles. There is a risk they will ‘come to believe in their own truths’, said former Rabobank chief Herman Wijffels.
Hans Hoogervoorst, a former finance minister who will soon step down as head of the financial services regulator AFM, recently described the banking sector as ‘the most subsidised sector in the Netherlands, worse even than agriculture’, Nieuwsuur said.

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