Banks agree to make it easier for sex workers to open an account


Talks between sex workers, the Dutch banking association NVB and the Dutch central bank should make it easier for people working as prostitutes to open a bank account, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

Even though sex work has been decriminalised since 2000, it is still extremely difficult for sex workers to open a bank account. Now, however, proper book keeping, a Chamber of Commerce registration and income tax return should be enough to make this possible. 

“This is major recognition for the sector,” said Irina Hornstra from lobby group Sekswerk Alliantie Destigmatisering. “We will now be treated as businesses and can operate normally.”

NVB money laundering expert Helène Erftemeijer also called the agreement as an important step. “Without a bank account, you cannot participate in society,” she told NOS.

Research by television current affairs show Pointer showed that sex workers and brothel owners struggle to open an account because human trafficking and exploitation were considered to underpin money laundering. And that meant banks were unwilling to provide services to sectors in which this was a risk, Pointer said.

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