A Column About a Column

I wrote a column about DIMP and about the ban of cash payments at the tax department which led to ruminations about our excessively expensive banking services, and about the ridiculous dress code at DIMP.
Then a reader wrote: Bank charges here are pretty high. But the charges / fixed fees for the use of a bank account, are not the biggest problem.
A lot of people simply cannot get a bank account.
Banks seem to require all kind of documents. For example: 2 recent pay slips, a reference letter from the employer, reference letters from 2 (TWO!) other banks, 2 years of financial statements for small business owners, Censo extract, copy of passport, driver’s license and utility bill, as a proof of address, or any creative, excessive combination of the above.

Even businesses will not always be able to qualify for an account.
For example: A new hotel will also want to open a new casino. This new casino will not be able to open a bank account on Aruba. All Aruban banks have corresponding banks in countries outside of Aruba, to make international transfers possible- expensive, but possible, and more efficient than most countries in the Caribbean.
These corresponding banks will terminate their relation with the Aruban bank, if it takes on a casino as a new client, because casino in their vocabulary is a dirty word.
I remember well, when several casinos had in the past closed their doors we marveled at their ability to operate without a local bank account. How is that possible, we asked?!
The same craziness also applies to anyone attempting to grow and/or market weed, but that’s a horse of a different color, and a very complicated economic conundrum.
In general, says my reader, cash is legal tender. Private businesses may choose not to accept it, and only deal with plastic. But no a government entity can legally refuse to accept cash, because it is its own legal tender. GOA MUST accept cash, as a public entity. And some friends already pointed out that there are several verdicts from the Dutch Supreme Court – Hoge Raad, confirming this.
Also. According to our constitution, DIMP cannot force people to dress in a certain way. It is only forbidden by law to go shirtless or naked, which would be violating public decency rules.
A commercial business bank for example, can have a dress code, and people can choose NOT to do business with them. But DIMP is a public entity, paid for by the people, the building is paid for by the people. As long as we have no choice about paying taxes, DIMP cannot enforce a dress code.
On the other hand: DIMP employees, public servants, can be held to a dress code. And we don’t mean Chica Caliente. So DIMP can have a dress code, but only for their own employees, not for the general public.
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January 03, 2021
Rona Coster