10 November 2017 • Gideon Wille
Enough competition in the banking sector?
Dutch checking accounts don’t vary that much. On average, 22 of their 35 characteristics are the same. This was one of the findings made by Klaas Molenaar, head of the Financial Inclusion & New Entrepreneurship Research Group (FINE) at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. So, do consumers actually have a choice when it comes to banks?
Molenaar and Richard van der Linde, former chairman of Stichting Full Reserve, published the findings of their study, ‘Maakt het uit welke bank?’ (are there really any differences between banks?). For their research, they included a range of characteristics including payment options, online access and customer service, but also the bank-specific risk of losing your money. Service costs don’t differ very much either: just a few tenners a year on an annual basis.
Follow the Money
As a follow-up to the research, the FINE Research Group held a symposium (‘Maakt het uit welke bank’) on 27 October. Financial journalist Thomas Bollen (Follow the Money) hosted the symposium and interviewed a panel consisting of bankers, regulators and financial experts. The main issue was whether there was enough competition in the banking sector. At the Follow the Money website, an article written by Thomas Bollen summarises the symposium’s most important conclusions.