Amsterdam: Immigrant entrepreneurs turn to private loans

Entrepreneurship organization MKB Amsterdam wants to investigate the increasing number of small entrepreneurs that loan money from illegal banks or money lenders. According to MKB there are several dozen such entrepreneurs. Often beginners of immigrant origin. They become dependent on usurers that can sometimes charge 25% interest and don't shun threats, since regular banks loan immigrant money less quickly.

"We want to point out the problem and fight this part of underworld economy," says MKB-Amsterdam chairman Mark van der Horst. He says there are no figures and they want to study it. In the past there also no information about criminal money in the reast estate business, but now that we know more we can deal with the problem.

Starting entrepreneurs are driven into the hands of usurrs since it is often difficult for immigrant to get a long at regular banks, says Van der Horst. "You must have a good presentation and it helps if you're forty and white, though the banks deny that."

If a bank denies a loan, then entrepreneurs often try to loan money from family and friends. Van der Horst: Sometimes that's friends of friends. Where does that money come from? If it's from a wealthy uncle it's not terrible, but it is if it's drug money."

When providing loans banks don't look at skin color, age, sex or belief, says Michel Noordermeer of the Dutch Association of Banks. "These are rather bold statements of Van der Horst. we have a code of conduct that opposes these sort of things." Bank do have criteria for applications. "So it can be asked to be fluent in the language."

Source: Parool (Dutch)

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