Dutch parliament votes for scrapping cap on banker's bonuses

Tweede Kamer
The Chairman's seat at the Tweede Kamerphoto: JanKranendonk / DepositPhotos

On Tuesday a majority in the Tweede Kamer voted against a proposal to keep the Netherlands' strict cap on bankers' bonuses in place. While the parliamentary vote is not binding, it does suggest that if the new government decides to scrap te cap, or make the rules around it more lenient, the decision will be met with approval.

The Netherlands capped bankers' bonuses at 20 percent of fixed income in 2015, as a response to the government's bailout of the country's banks in the financial crisis. Other European countries capped bankers' bonuses at 100 percent of fixed income. The Netherlands' strict bonus cap is regularly cited as a deterrent for financial institutions who would consider moving from London to Amsterdam after the Brexit.

The PvdA and SP submitted the motion to prevent future adjustments to the bonus cap just to appease British banks.  "We should not bend for British bonus bankers and put our economy on the scale of their reckless behavior", PvdA MP Henk Nijboer said about the motion. 

But a parliamentary majority voted against the motion and for less strict rules around bankers' bonuses, according to the Telegraaf. The majority included the four parties currently negotiating forming a government together - VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie. The ChristenUnie initially supported the motion, but switched sides when it joined the government formation talks, according to the newspaper. 

On Monday employers organization VNO-NCW called on parliamentarians to vote against the motion, saying that keeping it in place could result in the Netherlands losing out on 17 thousand jobs and a billion euros in income- and corporate tax.