Dutch banks are researching whether they can offer basic banking facilities for professions such as sex workers, suggests a report from the Dutch Banking Association.
Some entrepreneurs reportedly find it impossible to open a normal business bank account, and in 2021, clients were turned down 2,700 times it says, citing figures from De Nederlandsche Bank.
Banks are subject to laws on money laundering and the prevention of terrorism, and institutions such as ABN AMRO and ING have been subject to huge fines in recent years for failing to check criminal clients properly.
Last December Rabobank said it was under investigation for suspected breaches of money laundering law, while the public prosecution has been looking into client scrutiny levels at a now-defunct ING subsidiary, Payvision, according to the Financieele Dagblad.
Banks are not obliged to take on a client, said the Dutch Banking Association, and the flip side of this is that some legitimate businesses have struggled to get banking. A basic bank account for business, which is expected to be further outlined in a proposal in July, could solve this problem.
Some sex workers, for instance, have for years struggled to get business banking due to fears about human trafficking, reports NOS. Project C, which applied to be part of the legalised cannabis growing experiment, successfully took the ABN Amro to court in 2019 for failing to offer it business banking.
A basic banking account already exists for individuals and MPs say this is necessary so that everyone can participate in society.
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