Associations and associations temporarily prohibited from opening an ING account
Associations and foundations, including charities, will not be able to open a bank account with ING before at least the end of this year. The bank does not currently have sufficient staff to carry out prudent due diligence on these customers and their “complex legal forms”. Banks must check to comply with money laundering prevention rules.
A spokesperson explains that the bank must work 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 account for? And who are the final beneficiaries?” According to her, the answer to these questions is not always immediately clear with certain organizations depending on their legal form.
Associations and foundations that are already ING customers can continue to carry out banking transactions there, but they will have to pay more. ING wants to pass on part of the cost of anti-money laundering checks to them, as has been decided before for others, such as religious groups. Currently, the bank still charges 3 euros per month. It will be 7.50 euros from September.
ING’s efforts to find customers and monitor transactions have intensified in recent years, the bank says. 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 find new customers, which will also lead to increased costs.
The bank currently employs more than 4,000 full-time staff to track transactions and verify customers, but that’s still not enough. Due to the tight labor market, it is currently difficult to recruit additional people. Associations and foundations should be allowed to become new customers again during the first quarter of next year.
Banks have done more to combat money laundering in recent years partly because authorities are monitoring it more closely. In 2018, ING reached an agreement with the public prosecutor for 775 million euros due to their “serious misconduct”. The bank has been accused of doing too little to prevent the accounts from being used for money laundering for years.