Princesses, politicians and potato growers on banking risk list


A database used by banks and other institutions to weed out potentially risky clients includes king Willem-Alexander’s three daughters Amalia, Arianne and Alexia, the prime minister’s mother and football coach Guus Hiddink, NOS radio programme Argos said at the weekend.

The list, said to have two million names in all, is compiled by a company called World-Check, owned by media giant Thomson-Reuters. Argos is one of several media organisations who scrutinised a leaked copy of the 2014 list to find out more.

The list includes the names of many former politicians and members of their family, who are identified as politically-exposed persons. Other categories in the list include criminals and terrorists.

In total, there are over 12,000 Dutch names on the list. Among the other strange inclusions, a Dutch seed potato grower and his family and on the crime list, a Dutch national who bought two ecstasy pills at a nightclub in Singapore and football coach Guus Hiddink.

Owner Thomson-Reuters told the programme that the list should be viewed as an aid for banks rather than a blacklist. According to Argos, 49 of the world’s biggest 50 banks have a subscription to the list and it is used by ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank.

More on the watch list from The Intercept

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