Five of the biggest banks in the Netherlands are looking into the creation of a joint body to monitor payment transactions and fight money laundering.
ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and Volksbank plan to spend the next six months looking into the technical and legal feasibility of a "transaction monitoring Netherlands" outfit.
The move comes in the wake of Dutch government promises of a tougher approach to money laundering. Around 16 billion euros of criminal money is estimated to be circulating in the Netherlands, most of which is connected to the drugs trade.
Last year, the banks reported 68,000 unusual transactions to the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit, which deemed 15,000 as suspicious. They argue that by combining their efforts it will be easier to spot flows of criminal funds.
ABN Amro's Kees van Dijkhuizen says: "I'm very pleased that we're taking the first step, together with the other banks, towards potentially setting up an organisation to monitor payment transactions. This is a key development in protecting the integrity of the Dutch financial system."