Dutch banks critical of government leaders

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The Dutch banks say European government leaders have addressed the symptoms of the financial crisis, but forgot to do something about the cause. Chair Boele Staal of the Dutch Banking Association says the agreements are much too vague.

"The root cause of the problems is government debt. Take for instance Japan, which has been facing a weak economy for a very long time because it has failed to address its debts. Europe is headed in the same direction if we fail to address the fundamental issues." The NVB says this way insecurity will continue to cast a shadow over the financial markets. "We need political leadership right now."

The agreements reached at the EU summit in Brussels will reportedly have few consequences for Dutch banks, which have already taken a possible write-off of Greek government debt into account. "Much more threatening is the way the various measures are beginning to stack up. A bank tax, a transaction tax and the banking deposit guarantee schemes, banks cannot pay for all of that."

Mr Staal warns that if the current trend continues banks it may affect their ability to provide credit. “It would become difficult to grant loans and mortgages.”


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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