A street in Amsterdam's Red Light District, Source: Depositphotos

Dutch banks simplify opening of business accounts for sex workers

Dutch banks simplify opening of business accounts for sex workers

This comes after an agreement between the financial institutions in the country

In the Netherlands, prostitution has been a legal industry and a profession choice since 2000, yet sex workers have been struggling when it comes to opening a business bank account, something that is easily available to other members of society.

The reason behind this discrimination lies in the fact most of the business transactions in this industry are done in cash. As a consequence, the banks cannot trace the source of the money and income for the sex workers or conclude what constitutes normal incomes and costs for them.

In order to redress this long-standing problem, the Dutch banks, represented by the Dutch Banking Association (NVB), have reached an agreement with the central bank DNB to set up an Industry Baseline for Sexworkers, which will serve as a standard guideline for the opening of business accounts for people practising this profession.

Avoiding money laundering in the sex industry

If a bank has insufficient information during the customer survey to properly assess and, if necessary, limit the risks of money laundering, the bank may not open or maintain a bank account based on the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act,” the NVB said in a press release.

The new sector standard will help provide this financial service to sex workers while meeting the requirements of the Dutch anti-money laundering law.

Banks can use sex workers’ tax returns to determine where their income comes from and what is typical for them. If this is not available to them yet, they can use VAT returns.

Sex workers also need to show good bookkeeping records and a registration with the Chamber of Commerce.



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