Sunday 31 May 2020

Dutch central bank takes action against trust offices post Panama Papers

Photo: Pbech via Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch central bank has made formal complaints about a number of trust offices in the Netherlands following the publication of the Panama Papers – millions of leaked documents about offshore entities.

The head of the bank’s integrity division Willemieke van Gorkum told the Financieele Dagblad on Wednesday that ‘action has been taken against individual institutions’ but declined to say which trusts or how many.

A number of Dutch banks, trust offices, notaries and tax advisors were referenced too in the leaked documents.

‘We have carried out data research on the basis of the leaked documents and taken action against individual institutions,’ she said. ‘This involves pension funds and insurance companies as well as banks and trust offices. A number of investigations are underway, in cooperation with other regulators such as the AFM.’

The FD says the central bank has increased its supervision of trust offices in recent years following mounting criticism of the sector.

Trust offices in the Netherlands currently manage the affairs of 24,000 companies for their clients, but the identity of the owners is often hard to establish.

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