New checklist to help Dutch banks detect fraud: report

The Dutch government wants banks, accountants, tax specialists and trust offices to do more to detect fraud and corruption in their systems. The government therefore asked the Netherlands' Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to create a checklist to show financial institutions what to look out for, Financieele Dagblad reports.

The check list contains 72 instructions and guidelines on how to detect a suspicious transaction. In the case of bribes, for example, the list instructs financial institutions to also look at family members. Bribes rarely go directly to the person for whom the money is intended, but is rather paid to family members or employees, according to the list. 

FIU director Hennie Verbeek told the newspaper that he understands this is more bureaucracy for banks and accountants to deal with. "We realize that as a government we ask a lot, but this is the only way to get a good idea of what is going on in the financial sector. If we don't do this, then we can't keep the financial world clean. We really need each other for that."

Over the past years, multiple Dutch banks were fined or reprimanded for failing to report suspicious transactions. The biggest case involved ING paying a settlement of 775 million euros in a money laundering case. Investigation revealed that millions of dollars in bribes were paid to the daughter of the President of Uzbekistan through ING accounts. Rabobank was fined 1 million euros for negligence in reporting suspicious transactions. And Triodos was reprimanded. 

The fines and warnings seem to have made the banks more alert, Verbeek said to the newspaper. "The financial institutions are working extremely hard to get things in order. We see that in the reports we receive. Not only are there more, the quality is also improving."