Ukrainians must be able to easily open a bank account, say refugee groups
Refugees from Ukraine should be able to open a bank account easier and faster, said the Council for Refugees. The refugees need a biometric passport for this, which includes data such as fingerprints, but many people from Ukraine do not have such a passport.
The Council for Refugees wants banks to be given more room to be more flexible and for refugees to receive another proof of identity more quickly, so that they can still open a bank account. With an account they can work and receive a salary, but also take out a telephone contract or insurance.
The Dutch Banking Association (NVB) says that 22,500 accounts have currently been opened for Ukrainian refugees. That is about two thirds of all adult registered refugees, according to a spokesperson. The Bank of Dutch Municipalities (BNG) has now issued 17,000 prepaid bank cards on which municipalities can put living money, according to the NVB. This allows refugees to carry out simple transactions or pay in shops and supermarkets.
A limited number of refugees have papers with which banks cannot establish their identity. The spokesperson could not yet say how many people that involved.
"Not everyone signs up for a bank account," he said. The lack of identity papers makes it difficult to open an account. "These are, for example, domestic passports that do not have biometric features, or are in Cyrillic. We are working on a solution, but cannot yet anticipate the content of that solution." The NVB states that it is discussing this with the government.
Reporting by ANP