Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has told MPs he plans to launch a new tender process with tougher new rules to find a government house bank for when the current contracts with ING expire in 2020.
Last year ING agreed to pay a fine of €775m in an out-of-court settlement for failing to deal properly with potential money laundering and Hoekstra said at the time he would look into breaking open the contract with the bank.
That has not proved possible and so instead the minister plans to change the rules which would make a ‘definitive legal judgement’ reason to end the contract, he told MPs.
ING will not be barred from the new tender process because European rules make it impossible to stop a company from taking part on national grounds, Hoekstra said.
In addition, he warned that integrity and trustworthiness would not be the only grounds for choosing a new bank and that the eventual winner would be the most cost-effective candidate.
The lucrative position of state bank involves ING taking charge of all government payments, including student loans and taxes, and totals some 40 million transactions a year, the Financieele Dagblad said.
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