Nonprofits and associations temporarily barred from opening an ING account
Associations and foundations, including charities, will not be able to open a bank account with ING until at least the end of this year. The bank does not currently have enough staff to conduct a cautious due diligence on these customers and their "complex legal forms." Banks must carry out the check to comply with money laundering prevention rules.
A spokesperson explains that the bank has to sort out many details when an organization wants to become one of the bank's customers, such as a football club. "For example, what is the purpose of the account? And who are the ultimate beneficiaries?" She said the answer to these questions are not always immediately clear with some organizations depending on their legal form.
Associations and foundations that are already customers of ING can continue to bank there, but they will have to pay more. ING wants to pass part of the cost for the money laundering checks on to them, just as it was previously decided for others, like religious groups. Currently, the bank still charges 3 euros per month. That will be 7.50 euros from September.
ING's efforts to research customers and monitor transactions have intensified in recent years, the bank explains. This is partly due to laws and regulations, but also because criminals are becoming more and more inventive. ING will deploy more employees and allocate more resources to investigate new customers, which will also lead to higher costs.
The bank currently employs more than 4,000 full-time employees to track transactions and verify customers, but that is still not enough. Due to the tight labor market, it is currently difficult to recruit additional people. Associations and foundations are expected to be allowed to become new customers again in the first quarter of next year.
The fact that banks have been doing more to combat money laundering in recent years is partly because authorities monitor this more closely. In 2018, ING reached a settlement with the Public Prosecution Service for 775 million euros due to their "serious negligence." The bank was accused of doing too little to prevent accounts from being used for money laundering for years.
Reporting by ANP