Amsterdam, October 18, 2022 - bunq has won a landmark case against the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). Earlier this year the neobank took DNB to court over the use of modern technology in the fight against money laundering. Today's court verdict sides with bunq on the matter.
It’s the first time a bank sued a regulator over such a fundamental issue, as banks prefer to settle disputes with DNB behind closed doors. bunq however considered the long-term detriment to its own users and, on a larger scale, the stability of the banking system as a whole, had it yielded to DNB’s anti-money laundering strategy. It’s a strategy that, in the eyes of bunq, was antiquated and ineffective. For years, bunq advocated money laundering policies that use modern technology, such as artificial intelligence, to mitigate risks.
Today, the Dutch court ruled in favor of bunq’s stance. Where DNB insisted on using one-sided reporting from account holders - a system resting squarely on the honesty of fraudsters - bunq favored the use of technology such as machine learning to fight money laundering effectively.
Ali Niknam, founder and CEO of bunq, says: We made history today. The court has paved the way for progress.
Interestingly, DNB itself started changing policies a month before this verdict by publicly releasing a study that advocated a more efficient anti-money laundering methodology. In its report, DNB pushed for a different approach that uses certain technological innovations, such as machine learning.
More information about the verdict can be found here (in Dutch).