Lobbying by banks in the Netherlands

This SOMO report examines particular aspects of how lobbying works in the banking sector in the Netherlands, how transparent and accountable it is for example, and whether it affects the public interest. It focuses specifically on decision-making processes for new or reviewed financial laws and related interactions between the Dutch Ministry of Finance and six Dutch banks: ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank, SNS Bank and its subsidiary ASN Bank.

  • Chapter one examines how transparent the Ministry of Finance is to citizens wishing to know about, and influence, upcoming financial legislation.
  • Chapter two provides an insight into the interaction between the Ministry and Dutch banks regarding financial legislative proposals, and related lobbying by the banks.
  • Chapter three explains how the banks operationalise their lobbying activities.
  • Chapter four highlights how multiple memberships of industry associations is not well managed by the banks.

The focus of this report is the decision-making process on upcoming financial laws from the viewpoints of both by Ministry of Finance, and six Dutch banks including an examination of their lobbying activities. This report builds on a previous SOMO report published in 2013 which assessed the transparency of six Dutch banks – ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank, SNS Bank and the then independent ASN Bank.

The report assesses whether transparency about lobbying activities compared to how it was following the publication of the 2013 SOMO report on bank lobbying, and whether conditions still prevail for a repeat of regulatory capture.

Photo: Karen Paalman


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publication cover - A Structural problem in the shadows
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