Dutch banks' tax avoidance policies still lacking: New policy assessment from the Dutch Fair Bank Guide
At the majority of the eight Dutch banks surveyed, policies for tackling tax avoidance by corporate clients remains substandard; ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank still do not have this in order.
The new policy assessment by the Dutch Fair Bank Guide, published today also shows that while the policy on seven sustainability themes has improved, especially at smaller banks, such as NIBC and Van Lanschot Kempen, this does not apply to the major banks - ING and ABN AMRO. ING remains at the bottom of the list with 5 unsatisfactory marks on these themes.
Barbara Oosters, Fair Bank Guide project leader: 'It is good to see that smaller banks, often with less manpower than large banks, have taken real steps to improve their sustainability policy. The scores of NIBC and Van Lanschot Kempen are rising, while those of ABN AMRO and ING are lagging behind. It is disappointing that banks are still not sufficiently tackling tax avoidance by corporate clients. 5 out of 8 banks still score poorly on this.'
Policies against tax avoidance fall short at 5 banks, including the 3 major banks ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank. For example, they do not ask the companies they finance to be open about their tax payments and agreements with tax authorities. In addition, they do not expect these companies to have a system in place to take immediate action if employees or suppliers are guilty of tax evasion. Only Van Lanschot Kempen and de Volksbank improved their tax policies.
De Volksbank, with its subsidiary ASN, and Triodos have the best sustainability banking policy of all the banks surveyed. They scored an average of 9 and 8 respectively for their policy on the 7 sustainability themes studied. NIBC is the most improved in the top 3. Rabobank is the only large bank that has not shown a decline, but a slight improvement in policy. The bank is doing remarkably well on the theme of nature thanks to improved policy on genetically modified crops and water scarcity. This puts Rabobank in fourth place. At ABN AMRO, we see that the scores, with the exception of gender equality, are even falling. ING remains at the bottom of the list with 5 unsatisfactory marks on taxes, animal welfare, weapons, gender equality and climate change.
Barbara Oosters, Fair Bank Guide project leader: 'We are finally seeing some movement on gender, after this policy had been neglected for a very long time at Dutch banks. ABN AMRO, NIBC and Van Lanschot Kempen show the greatest improvements here. Nevertheless, the scores on this point remain too low, due to the lack of or limited application of a good gender policy to companies financed by the bank.”
- For more information contact Jules van Os, Tel: 0651573683 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Barbara Oosters, Project Leader for the Fair Finance Guide The Netherlands is available for interviews
- The policy research was carried out by Profundo for the Fair Finance Guide. This is the 19th update of the ongoing policy research of the Fair Finance Guide among Dutch banks. The previous policy update was published at the end of 2020 with 15 social themes on sustainability. This update now covers now 7 topics.
- The Fair Bank Guide is part of the Fair Finance Guide The Netherlands, a partnership between Amnesty International, Milieudefensie, Oxfam Novib, PAX and World Animal Protection.
- At https://eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl/bankwijzer/, everyone can see and compare the scores of the banks for their sustainability policy on seven social themes