Dutch capital confirms negotiations in wake of Brexit vote but country’s strict cap on bankers’ bonuses remains an obstacle. Amsterdam is in talks with major financial institutions based in the city of London about their imminent relocation to the Dutch capital, but its deputy mayor has warned the national government that the country’s strict cap on bankers’ bonuses could put it at a disadvantage in the Europe-wide scramble to capture Britain’s financial sector.
The Amsterdam mayor’s office has been in negotiations with American and Japanese banks, along with fintech firms and other specialist finance firms, about moving staff and operations from London as a consequence of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the city’s deputy mayor told the Guardian.
Kajsa Ollongren, who is responsible for economic affairs, said she expected decisions in favour of relocation to be made within the first or second quarter of the year.
However, Ollongren said the Netherlands’ imposition of a cap on bankers’ bonuses at 20% of their annual salary was being raised by companies in the financial sector during talks. The EU has capped bankers’ bonuses at 100% of annual salary, but the Netherlands opted to impose a much lower limit in 2015.
Ollongren, who is a member of the liberal D66 party, said: “That there is a cap on bonuses is a very good idea. But the fact is, there is a European cap and there is a Dutch cap. And the Dutch cap is much lower than the EU cap. I am now responsible for acquisitions and for getting companies to come to Amsterdam, and that is in a way – and I can understand it – a difficulty.”
Ollongren added, however, that the cap was designed for Dutch banks, and that she was cooperating with the central government’s finance minister to assist individual companies looking to relocate.
She said: “They [the banks and financial firms] are all preparing themselves. They don’t know exactly what they have to prepare for because the situation is unclear and it will take some time until it is more clear. Financials and others are looking at possibilities and very often Amsterdam is on the shortlist.