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Due to stricter supervision by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), trust offices and banks are increasingly pulling out from dubious Dutch BV’s from foreign clients, the Financieele Dagblad says. Figures from DNB show that the number of letterbox companies in the Netherlands has fallen by almost a third over the past five years. Stricter requirements for trust offices and stricter supervision by DNB are said to underlie this.

Luanda Leaks

The newspaper mentioned the example of a series of private limited companies of Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the former president of Angola. These Dutch companies contain hundreds of millions of suspicious euros, a large part of her assets. The Luanda Leaks would show how the Dutch construction has become increasingly difficult over the past ten years, partly under pressure from DNB. As a result, the BVs are no longer managed by any trust office, but are located at a flex office address at Schiphol Airport. The Luanda Leaks contain part of the internal administration of Isabel dos Santos, which the FD and Trouw have been given access to via the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Holland Quaestor

Holland Quaestor, the Dutch corporate services industry association, says customers are turning their back on trust offices due to increasing requirements and compliance and transaction monitoring costs, among other things. The industry association says it has urged the regulator to do more investigations on where these customers are located. According to Holland Quaestor, the question is what will be achieved with stricter requirements and supervision if this leads to the departure of clients who then will ‘be subject to less strict supervision than as applied in the trust sector?’

Source: Accountancy Vanmorgen