Dutch retailers slam banks for being closed 110 days a year

Dutch banks have old-fashioned employment practices and need to adapt to the modern economy, according to the Dutch retail sector.

‘Shops are now open on Sundays and in the evening but banks don’t work on 110 days a year,’ retail association director Jan Meerman told Radio 1 on Monday. ‘That is so old-fashioned. What about the 24-hour economy?’

This coming Easter weekend, for example, the banks will process payments for a four-day period.


‘If someone buys something on Thursday evening, that money will be taken off their account immediately but the shopkeeper won’t see the money in his bank account until Tuesday,’ Meerman said.

Retail sales amount to some €500m over the Easter weekend, Meerman said.

Gijs Boudewijn of the Dutch payment association Betaalvereniging Nederland said the problem is being worked on.

‘The problem is that the European central bank and the Dutch central bank are closed on Sundays and public holidays,’ he said. This is a European agreement and means banks in principle cannot transfer money between themselves.

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