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Open your own (cryptocurrency) bank account with the Dutch Central Bank

Bijgewerkt op: 18 jan.

Recently foreign companies have been struggling to open a Dutch bank account. The increased compliance requirements have made large Dutch banks such as ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank and SNS reluctant to provide services to foreign customers. Screening international customers in other jurisdictions is considerably more complex than screening Dutch customers due to the different legal, tax and trade register systems. External customers who use the services of a Corporate Services Provider face even more problems when opening a bank account. Trust and trust services are seen as an increased risk, which often conflicts with the risk-avoiding behaviour from the banks.

A foreign real estate investor got stuck in this system. He owned an office building in Amstelveen in the Netherlands and tried to open a bank account with a Dutch bank. The real estate investor had placed the office building in a Dutch private limited company (BV), and this caused problems. The bank saw the BV as a foreign entity, making it impossible for the foreign entrepreneur to open a bank account. After six months they decided to throw in the towel, and a bank account was opened with a German bank.

The required Transaction Monitoring that banks themselves must perform adequately also creates obstacles. ING was recently fined millions of euros for negligence, and ABN AMRO is also currently under prosecution for this reason. They too are likely to be penalised. To strengthen compliance departments and resolve omissions in files, Dutch banks have hired thousands of staff members. All this adds to the reluctancy of Dutch banks to open bank accounts for new clients.

Due to the rise of digital payments and the decreasing share of cash, central banks have lost their essential role in payment transactions. The Dutch Central Bank has announced that it is considering offering payment accounts and a Central Bank Digital Currency (cbdc). Its own digital currency must make the supervisor a relevant party in payment transactions again. The Central Bank Digital Currency can promote diversity in the payment market and increase the efficiency of cross-border payments. "A cbdc can contribute to confidence in the money system in times of uncertainty such as war, financial crisis or disruption of private investment," said the regulator on April 22 in the major Dutch financial newspaper Financieel Dagblad. After the attack on the money system by Facebook's cryptocurrency libra, developments among regulators have accelerated.

Bank accounts opened at The Dutch Central Bank would compete with commercial banking. The plan raises interesting questions for European competition law that need to be resolved. And even more urgent: if the Dutch Central Bank, which is after all the bank's supervisory authority, offers bank accounts, who will carry out the mandatory transaction monitoring? Many questions, but in the meantime, it is an exciting idea that you may be able to open your cryptocurrency bank account at The Dutch Central Bank shortly. Plans for a cbcd will publish in one to two years.

Locating your business abroad creates many challenges. Q-Business Support is specialised in supporting and advising companies during the whole process. From language and cultural differences to laws and regulations: Q-Business Support can assist and advise you in setting up your operations in The Netherlands. It’s highly specialized team delivers tailored solutions in corporate services, accounting, financial reporting and compliance. The multilingual and highly skilled professionals from Q-Business Support will support you through all the stages of the implementation of your business in this country.

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