Tuesday 14 July 2020

Banks told to boost compliance with money laundering rules

The Dutch central bank. Photo: Pbech via Wikimedia Commons

Finance ministry inspectors are pressing ahead with investigations into money laundering via Dutch banks, and will take action against institutions which are not doing enough to tackle the problem, the service chief Hans van der Vliet has told the Financieele Dagblad.

‘Our investigation continues,’ Van der Vliet said. ‘If banks are not doing their job as gatekeeper properly, then we will end up at them.’

He said he expected the entire Dutch banking sector to come up with initiatives in the short term to prevent another ING debacle.

Earlier this year the bank agreed a €755m out of court settlement for failing to take money laundering seriously. The central bank told finance minister Wopke Hoekstra at the time that more banks were lax in their approach to the problem.

One sign that compliance is improving would be an increase in the number of unusual transactions reported to the authorities, Van der Vliet said. Last year banks reported just over 360,000 unusual transactions to the special register, down almost 60,000 on 2016.

A spokesman for the Dutch banking association told the paper that plans to improve compliance are being worked on.

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