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Dutch civil society organisations, including fundraising association Goede Doelen Nederland, have written their second letter to Minister Kaag of Finance about the consequences of bank de-risking on charities and voluntary organisations, and asking for intervention.
The letter asks for action to ensure nonprofit organisations can access the financing options and payment systems they need to continue providing solutions to urgent social problems, as well as emergency aid.
Banks de-risk to try and reduce their exposure to terrorism financing and money laundering, and to potential prosecution or fines, but for those they consider to be high risk, it can mean delayed or blocked payment transfers, difficulties in transferring goods to conflict areas, and the closure or denial of bank accounts.
Banks often deem NGOs to be higher risk because of where many work, however, the group points out, research does not back this up. As such, they are calling for the guidelines to be re-examined, and for civil society to be involved in the minister’s next steps.
At the moment, the letter says, large numbers of charities and voluntary organisations find themselves confronted with blocked bank accounts, refusals from payment service providers, and problems opening new bank accounts. In addition, they face huge delays in transferring money to both high and low risk areas abroad.
These obstacles interfere with their day-to-day work, making it more difficult for them to achieve their mission, as well as leading to a significant increase in workload and administrative costs.
The signatories request that the Minister promotes a more favourable environment for charities and voluntary organisations to enable them to make use of adequate and accessible financing so they can continue their work.
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