You are currently viewing Rob, a 63-year-old Belgian, is going through an ordeal with the banks: he cannot open an account or take out a loan, “I pay my taxes honestly”

Rob, a 63-year-old Belgian, is going through an ordeal with the banks: he cannot open an account or take out a loan, “I pay my taxes honestly”

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

This Wednesday, Rob van Beurden went to the bank with his wife. The goal for the couple was to apply for a loan to buy a new house, as the 63-year-old explains to the Nieuwsblad. “The banker was very enthusiastic because my wife and I only wanted to borrow half the amount. But then he asked me what my profession was…”, he tells our colleagues. And that’s where it gets stuck.

A diamond dealer for forty years, Rob’s profession is a real obstacle in his efforts. “When I told the banker that I was independent in the jewelery sector, he started to do the accounts and told me directly that there will be a negative opinion from Brussels. “A bitter experience for the sexagenarian who is however the first of its kind. Some time ago, Rob had wanted to take out a loan for a car and, again, he had received a refusal as an answer. “So I had to take the loan from the concessionaire himself, but it goes through a foreign bank, and this loan is 1% more expensive. But then again, I had no choice. »

“I pay my taxes”

No matter which bank he contacts, the answer is never positive. Even for his two companies. It must therefore go through a payment platform. “But I can’t withdraw money with it, or pay in stores. But the problem is deeper. “I used to make payments for my business through another payment platform. When this platform was bought by a Spanish bank, the latter expelled all the diamond merchants…” And even his private accounts, separate from those of his companies, are blocked. “As a result, I have to live mainly on savings that are in a Dutch account. »

” It’s incredible. I’ve been paying my taxes honestly for decades and never caused any trouble. And yet, I am considered untrustworthy by all Belgian banks. »

What Rob is experiencing is not unique as it has affected the entire diamond industry for years. There is a law stipulating that a bank must give a valid reason for refusing a diamond dealer. A law that has still not been applied. But Minister Dermagne promised that things would change. Soon.