Banks told to accept cannabis cafe customers

Finance minister cannot force the banks to accept coffee shop accounts
Dutch News (Netherlands)
Friday, February 6, 2009

Banks must accept cafes which sell cannabis and marijuana as clients, says finance minister Wouter Bos. The minister fears that if these businesses, known as coffee shops, are refused bank accounts they could turn to the criminal circuit for financial services, reports Friday’s Volkskrant. At present all the banks are turning down these cafes as new customers and terminating existing accounts even though they are legitimate businesses, the paper says. Coffee shops are licenced by local authorities and allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis. Although Bos cannot force banks to accept coffee shops as customers, he has asked the anti-cartel authority to investigate the situation because it seems that the banks are acting collectively.