Tuesday 29 November 2022

Dutch central bank tells banks to check its retail clients for tax evasion

The central bank float at a flower parade earlier this year. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Dutch central bank has said that high street banks should check all their retail clients’ accounts for signs of tax evasion, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

If they have suspicions about a client, it would be a good reason to refuse to give them an account, the paper quotes the central bank as saying.

The central bank’s position derives from the legal requirement that all banks work to combat tax evasion and other financial crime, the FD said. The central bank published its detailed recommendations last month.

ABN Amro told broadcaster NOS that it would check the accounts of all its five million clients for signs of financial impropriety following reports that it does not have its files in order.

‘We need to know exactly what clients are doing with their accounts,’ chief executive Kees van Dijkhuizen said at the presentation of the bank’s half-yearly figures. ‘For example, we should check when they open an account that they are aware they need a business account if they want to carry out business transactions.’

‘We also need to estimate the risk attached to each client,’ he said. ‘That is important for checking for money laundering but to determine if there is a risk of financing terrorism.’

The bank has reserved €114m for carrying out checks on its retail clients and has allocated 100 members of staff for the process. ABN Amro is 56% in Dutch government hands.

Last year ING was fined €775m for being lax in its compliance procedures.

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