Customer DeGiro was given one month to settle thousands of options


A man who was involved with the Panama Papers as a tax specialist has been dismissed by DeGiro as a customer. According to a judge, this was justified, but he should have been given more time to hand over his wallet.

The story can be read in Het Financieele Dagblad on Tuesday. A man who became a customer at discount broker DeGiro in 2018 was dismissed at the beginning of this year. This happened after the media reported on his role in the large-scale tax avoidance in the so-called Panama Papers.

The media reports, in combination with the value of his portfolio, put the client in a ‘higher risk profile’. For example, the tax specialist had to make large deposits to meet his margin obligations. After all, he was active in options: there is a guarantee account against entering into certain obligations. This account evolves with the development of the liabilities.

Money laundering

The customer went to court. The Amsterdam court ruled that DeGiro made the right decision by sending him away. The court appealed the ruling, after the tax advisor had also been blunt in summary proceedings. The decision to send the customer away is in line with customer policy to prevent money laundering, DeGiro told Het Financieele Dagblad.

According to the judgment, the client had ‘thousands of options’ outstanding through the broker, some with an expiration date in 2023. In January, DeGiro gave the client one month to settle everything. Later that deadline was moved to the end of March. The court finds that Degiro should have given the customer more time. “The broker must take more account of the interests of the customer, in accordance with the general terms and conditions,” the FD quotes from the judgment.

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