ABN raises charges for coffeeshops by 1000% to cover money laundering costs

Coffeeshops with accounts with ABN will pay €110 a month from January.
Coffeeshops with accounts with ABN will pay €110 a month from January.

ABN AMRO is raising its bank charges for coffeeshops by 1000% to cover the costs of complying with anti-money laundering laws.

From January coffeeshop owners who have a business account with the bank will pay €110 a month, compared to €9.90 presently. The bank has around 250 coffeeshop businesses on its books.

ABN said in a statement that the cannabis cafés were ‘an explicit risk’ because of the cost of administering their accounts and the high penalties for non-compliance.

‘For specific groups of client we are calculating extra charges for client audits that we have to perform in our role as gatekeepers,’ said a spokesman.

The decision has raised speculation that the bank could increase its charges for other industries that are susceptible to criminal activity, such as the sex trade and car dealers, but ABN said it was not planning any other rate hikes for the time being.

In April ABN agreed to pay €480 million to avoid being prosecuted for failing to supervise money-laundering by its customers. The bank accepted a €300 million fine and paid another €180 to compensate for money lost because of its failure to regulate organised crime, terrorism and tax evasion.

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