Dutch Central Bank Will Investigate Historical Links to Slavery

The Dutch central bank will look into its historical links with slavery, joining institutions from around the world in taking a stance on condemning racism.

The Amsterdam-based regulator will task an independent party to conduct the investigation, spokesman Bouke Bergsma said by email. Research will focus on the early years of the bank’s more than two century-long history and its executives during those times.

Possible next steps will be decided after the exercise that was inspired by a similar initiative by the Bank of England, Bergsma said.

The 325-year-old BOE said last month it will remove portraits of former governors linked to the slave trade and is reviewing its collection to ensure none with any involvement remain on display anywhere in the bank.

Several former Dutch central-bank presidents also have links to slavery, Dutch newspaper Vrij Nederland reported on Friday. That includes Johanna Borski, who co-financed the institution in ​​its founding years and funded plantations in the Caribbean.

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