Monday, July 02, 2007

Dutch pride: foundation to improve the Netherlands as a place for financial business

In the slipstream of the pensioning of one of the directors of the prduential regulator (AFM) and of the bank association (NVB) a bunch of hot shots in banks, insurance companies and regulators including the Ministry of Finance thought it would be a good idea to promote the Netherlands as a place for financial business. And parliament asked a bunch of questions on this, to which the Minister of Finance replied here.

Essentially it is a nice idea, but also too little too late. The fact that ABN AMRO becomes a take-over victim is more than telling the real state of things here. The Netherlands may not really be the best climate for doing financial business. And most certainly one could advice other banks not to enter the payments market, in which margins are even negative. So the foundation may be active in the area of education, it would surprise me if they would really eliminate the essential barriers that exist (mostly in the form of useless or inconsequent government overregulation).