Rabobank sends letters to Dutch people who regularly withdraw cash. The bank itself has confirmed the letters and is warning its customers about the risk of cash. But not everyone agrees with the vigilance over cash transactions. What is really going on in this discussion about cash?
Rabobank’s letter has, among other things, been shared on Twitter in recent days. The bank asks the customer to reduce cash withdrawals. In the letter, the bank warns of the “risk of cash”. A spokesman for Rabobank confirms this to the Belgian website Business AM, and also confirmed this himself on Twitter that the letters were indeed sent. Primarily for customers who withdraw large amounts of cash. The bank did not want to tell the website exactly how much it is. This so as not to make criminals smarter than they already are, was the answer.
Best @Rabobank: is this real? If so, what are you involved in? Cash is legal tender and withdrawing it does not require a ‘warning letter’ from you to the customers. In relation to sustainability, which you also consider to be of vital importance: stop this. pic.twitter.com/pBYOKdwnxd
— Olaf Ephraim (@Olaf_Ephraim) 12 December 2022
Good morning, it is true that these letters are sometimes sent to customers. Because we are the gatekeeper of the financial system under the WFT Act, this is part of our role. ^Empty
— Rabobank (@Rabobank) 12 December 2022
We do this because, according to the WFT Act, we are the gatekeeper of the financial system. As a bank, we are tasked with preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. 1/2
— Rabobank (@Rabobank) 12 December 2022
Letters to Rabobank about cash
There are a number of issues surrounding cash. For example, Minister Sigrid Kaag (Finance) is campaigning for a new digital currency, or CBDC. A coin that has caused quite a stir in recent times. Because the suppression of cash and violations of privacy led to criticism. And although Kaag emphasized that cash is not going away and that nothing has been decided yet, a lot has already happened at the European level.
In any case, Rabobank explains that the letters and checks are intended to combat criminal practices and money laundering. Something that is in line with the finance minister’s approach. For example, it was announced last month that the government wants to monitor all transactions over 100 euros. Also to prevent money laundering. But there was also criticism due to the violation of the Privacy Act. Intelligence expert Ronald Prins contradicted this Pow News explains that the question is whether to let the banks do the investigation in case of terrorist or money laundering problems. “Or should we just hand it over to the police?” he said.
Money laundering, criminal activities and cash
But the discussion about cash does not only arise in the Netherlands. The European Union has drawn up guidelines to limit access to cash and cryptocurrencies. According to these guidelines, anonymous cash transfers cannot exceed EUR 10,000. But the Member States can decide for themselves how far they want to lower this. In Spain it would be an amount of 1000 euros in cash, in Italy 5000 euros and in Germany there is still disagreement about this. In the Netherlands, Minister Sigrid Kaag (Finance) and Minister Dilan Yesilgoz (Justice and Security) discussed an amount of up to 3,000 euros.
Incidentally, the phenomenon of cash money was also discussed at the table last month Inside today. WEface René van der Gijp said out loud that he really does not think it is so strange if there is cash in a house or if it is used privately. Lawyer Job Knoester, who was also sitting at the table at the time, made him aware that large amounts of cash are no longer possible in this day and age. “Who still has cash?” Knoester said then.
“Who still has cash?”
Wilfred Genee then referred to the monitoring of transactions over one hundred euros. After which Van der Gijp said that during his football career in the Belgian KSC Lokeren about forty years ago he was paid in cash. Which Derksen also experienced in his football career. Van der Gijp said he thought it was strange that you are not allowed to handle things in cash privately. “Everything will soon be monitored, René. You must be able to explain everything. What you have to do in the bank to set up a BV in the first place and the checks that are carried out. Those banks have received huge fines,” answered presenter Genee. And he was right about the fines that happened in Rabobank in a major money laundering case.
This was contradicted by DNB politician Esther van den Kommer last year NU.nl that cash will continue to play a decisive role in society for at least another ten years. She emphasized that in Germany, for example, cash was still clearly predominant at the time. However, financial psychologist Anne Abbenes already called it inevitable that cash will disappear in the long term. “It is important that the banks react positively to this change,” said the financial psychologist. “If you force something on people, it often backfires.”
Sigrid Kaag in debate on highly controversial digital euro: ‘Cash will remain’
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