Dutch bankers to sign integrity oaths, accept bonus caps

Bankers in the Netherlands will have to swear an oath of integrity, with performance-related bonuses capped at 20% of fixed salary, while higher taxes will hit anybody in the country earning more than €100,000, according to reports on a coalition agreement signed in the Netherlands.

Additionally, screening of those working in the Dutch financial services sector will be extended, and the privatisation of ABN Amro Bank will not take place before stability returns to financial markets, reported Dutchnews.nl. (The bank was taken over by the Dutch state in 2008 after part-owners RBS and Fortis themselves collapsed amid the global financial crisis.)

These are key provisions of the agreement struck by the coalition parties VVD and PvdA, which will join to form the country’s new government, following elections last month.

Analysts suggest those earning more than €100,000 are set to take the biggest hit from the deal to impose spending cuts and hike taxes in the next few years in order to meet deficit targets.

The new government plans to raise an additional €23bn, although on a net basis the sum will come in at around €16bn.

The government’s own forecasting agency CPB predicts unemployment will rise to 5.75% by 2017 and economic growth average 1.25% through the period covered by the coalition agreement.

Healthcare and social security spending will bear the brunt of the spending cuts, with new limits on unemployment benefit and more costly access to healthcare.

Those earning more than €100,000 will no longer be able to deduct pension premiums from their personal tax bill, and those earning more than €66,000 annually will be hit with more expensive health insurance premiums.

Click here to read the full coalition agreement document (in Dutch): Regeerakkoord


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