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Digital banking service options being explored

Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Raymond Knops said on Tuesday that he was assess­ing the possibilities with the Dutch banking sector to en­able residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba to make use of digital banking ser­vices.

The State Secretary stated this in response to writ­ten questions submitted by Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Par­liament, Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP). Van Raak sought clarity in June about the possibilities of free Internet banking for Carib­bean Netherlands residents.

Knops confirmed that it is legally possible to open an Internet bank account from the three islands. The law makes it possible for finan­cial businesses, under cer­tain conditions, to provide certain services to the Carib­bean Netherlands.

The State Secretary ex­plained that together with the Dutch Central Bank and the Authority Financial Markets (AFM), he was as­sessing whether in relation to current bank accounts it would be desirable to include a specific facility that would provide more clarity on the question as to when an ac­tivity resorts under the per­mit system in the Caribbean Netherlands.

“Point of departure is that I consider it important that residents of the Caribbean Netherlands can also take part in the economic traffic of the Netherlands, and that includes the Dutch euro pay­ment system,” Knops stated.
The State Secretary also said he was consulting the banking sector on whether possible practical hurdles could be overcome, for ex­ample, the geographical distance between the Carib­bean Netherlands and the Netherlands. He promised to update the Dutch Parliament in a letter before the end of 2019 regarding the banking services on the islands.

Responding to Van Raak’s question as to whether Inter­net banking could be provid­ed free of charge, the State Secretary said that no matter they reside, clients always pay a fee for a current ac­count which provides access to Internet banking.

As for opening a bank ac­count per traditional mail, which is the only current op­tion, the State Secretary ex­plained that only clients with an official residential address in the Netherlands can open a bank account via the in­ternet. This is not possible for clients with an official address outside the Nether­lands. This group has to re­quest the opening of a bank account with a letter sent by post.

The Daily Herald.

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