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Top Dutch News – 20 February 2024

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Netherlands!  Enjoy reading!

‘Reducing fossil subsidies is possible, but often must be done internationally’ (NOS)

The Netherlands is considering ending tax benefits for fossil fuel-dependent companies from 2026, aiming to promote alternative energy sources. Proposed measures include reducing tax exemptions for large fossil fuel consumers and eliminating tax breaks on coal. The comprehensive report covers fiscal policies related to climate, energy, housing, wealth distribution, business climate, and the job market. Minister of Climate, Jetten, urges international collaboration to phase out subsidies, highlighting efforts at the Dubai climate summit. Jetten emphasizes the political courage needed to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies amid current skepticism about climate policies. Read more

ServiceNow Makes Strategic Investment in Leading Consulting & Implementation Partner Plat4mation (BusinessWire)

ServiceNow, a leading digital workflow company, and Keensight Capital, a European Growth Buyout investor, have jointly invested in Plat4mation, a global IT consultancy and ServiceNow implementation partner. This marks ServiceNow Ecosystem Ventures’ first European investment, aiming to accelerate customer time-to-value and boost partner growth. Plat4mation will leverage its ServiceNow experience to focus on digital transformation in Germany’s Mittelstand sector, a vital economic contributor. The investment includes plans to add over 400 new ServiceNow-skilled individuals in Germany and central Europe as part of the RiseUp with ServiceNow skilling initiative. This strategic move aligns with the growing ServiceNow partner opportunities in Germany and central Europe. Read more

Brand New Day benefits from new pension law (In Finance)

Online pension bank Brand New Day experienced a surge in growth, opening 70,000 new accounts in 2023, bringing the total to 300,000 (+24%). Total customer assets increased by 33% to €6.4 billion (2022: €4.8 billion). The growth is attributed to increased contributions from customers, leveraging new opportunities under the recent pension law. The law allows self-employed individuals and employees with pension shortfalls to contribute as much to supplementary pensions as those with company pensions. Brand New Day notes that this has led to a significant rise in the maximum annual deductible amount for supplementary pensions, from approximately €15,000 to €35,000. The company’s net profit for 2023 reached €21.5 million (2022: €10.2 million), entirely used to strengthen the bank’s equity in banking activities. Read more

The solar panel salderingsregeling will remain for the time being (rtl nieuws)

The favorable solar panel salderingsregeling for owners will remain intact as a proposal to gradually phase it out from 2025 failed to gain majority support in the Dutch Senate. Concerns about the potential exclusion of less affluent individuals from solar panel ownership without the salderingsregeling prompted major parties such as BBB and GroenLinks-PvdA to oppose the proposal. Other opponents include JA21, the Partij voor de Dieren, and the SP. The salderingsregeling allows users to offset unused solar power against electricity drawn from the grid. Proponents argue it incentivizes solar adoption, while critics highlight strain on the electricity grid and perceived unfairness for non-solar users. Read more 

The Netherlands is a leader in second-hand items, especially for the money (De Telegraaf)

Dutch consumers lead Europe in online buying and selling of second-hand items, with 77% engaging in transactions on platforms like Marktplaats and Vinted. The main reasons for the Netherlands’ online shoppers are cost savings and earning extra money, while sustainability ranks lower at 31%. The country surpasses Italy (66%), Germany (73%), the UK (74%), and France (75%) in the use of consumer-to-consumer platforms. Despite a 3% decrease in overall online shopping in Europe, 71% of Dutch e-shoppers still heavily buy clothing online, both new and second-hand, compared to the European average of 58%. Read more

Fewer bankruptcies in January (cbs.nl)

In January 2024, there were 24 fewer bankruptcies in the Netherlands compared to December 2023, a 6% decline, adjusting for working days, as reported by CBS. However, the overall trend shows a nearly two-year increase, with 60% more companies declared bankrupt than in the same month a year earlier, representing a rise of 138 companies. The unadjusted data reveals 419 companies and institutions, including sole proprietorships, declared bankrupt in January, with trade having the highest number (79), although 10% less than in December. The overall bankruptcy figures exhibit fluctuations, with peaks and lows, influenced by various economic factors. Read more 

Supervisory authority ACM is investigating Bol (NOS)

The Dutch Consumer and Market Authority (ACM) is launching an investigation into Bol.com, a major online retail platform. The ACM is responding to signals indicating potential favoritism towards Bol.com and certain sellers on the platform. Complaints from other companies suggest that their offerings are less visible on Bol.com, even when they claim to have the best prices. There are also concerns about Bol.com using data from other sellers. The investigation will determine if there is any abuse of data or unfair preferential treatment. Bol.com states that it is fully cooperating with the investigation, and outcomes could range from no misconduct found to potential fines or equalizing opportunities for all sellers. Read more

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