Big banking writes Dutch pro-banker laws

Banking fat cats, cartoon

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Parliament wants clarification on banks influencing legislation affecting banks

Today, 12:55

Parliament wants clarification by Minister Dijsselbloem about the influence of banks on legislation. Besides the opposition also the government parties PvdA and VVD want clarity on a report in Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

According to the newspaper, ING last year wrote key parts of a law giving Dutch banks tax deductions for cocos [contingent convertibles], a new type of bond. The law would provide banks a tax benefit of 350 million euros per year.

Also Dijsselbloem is said to have on purpose not reported to the European Commission that there may have been illegal governmental subsidy.

In the post-2008 financial crisis, the ING bank got lots of Dutch taxpayers’ money. Now, it is dictating to the taxpayers that there should be pro-Big Banking rules for Big Banking with that money.

PvdA MP Nijboer wants his fellow party member Dijsselbloem to tell how the law came about. “Politicians need to write the laws and not bankers.” …

His VVD colleague De Vries adds that laws are not supposed to be written by the business community. She thinks it’s okay to discuss with the businesses about laws, but according to her there must be clarity about how things turned out in this case.

Making banking more honest

Socialist Party leader Roemer thinks that the events surrounding the law show an upside down world. “If the minister wants to outsource the writing of laws, then I will also write a law, but then a law about making the banking sector more honest.”

D66 spokesman Koolmees wants “transparency” about how this has happened. He also worries about possible governmental aid. …

GroenLinks MP Grasshoff denounces the “close cooperation between the ministry and a very large corporation”. And that the law was not notified to the European Commission for any government aid worries GroenLinks strongly. “It seems that there is something to hide.”

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took the opportunity of New Year’s Eve to bury the announcement that it had abandoned an investigation into banking culture launched in early 2015: here.

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