On 14 June 2019, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, AFM) and the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) published the draft Decree amending the Suitability Policy Rule 2012 (Besluit tot wijziging van de Beleidsregel Geschiktheid 2012, the Decree) for public consultation.

The Suitability Policy Rule provides for more detailed information on the assessment of the suitability (geschiktheid) of policymakers (beleidsbepalers) of financial institutions. More particularly, it lays down the criteria that DNB and the AFM take into account in the assessment of suitability and how these criteria can be met. The Decree aims to incorporate new legislation, to reflect the prevailing market conditions, to make further clarifications and to repair defects and omissions.

The Decree amongst others:

  • clarifies that the Suitability Policy Rule does not relate to the assessment of the reputation of any person proposing to acquire a qualifying holding within the meaning of Article 3:100 (1) (b) of the Act on the Financial Supervision (Wet op het financieel toezicht, AFS) which requirement entered into effect on 1 July 2019. The assessment of reputation is a different requirement than assessing suitability within the meaning of the Suitability Policy Rule;
  • incorporates the following financial institutions that have been added to the AFS in the past years: settlement agents (afwikkelondernemingen), exchange institutions (wisselinstellingen) and credit unions (kredietunies);
  • amends the screening framework for payment institutions (betaalinstellingen) and electronic money institutions (elektronischgeldinstellingen). Due to the increase and diversity of these type of institutions, a more principle-based screening framework is appropriate; and
  • incorporates the criteria of ‘independence of mind’, ‘sufficient time commitment’ and ‘diversity of the collective of policymakers’. These criteria were already applied by the AFM and DNB, but are now laid down in the Suitability Policy Rule.

The consultation period ends on 1 September 2019.

View  AFM’s press release (Dutch only), 14 June 2019.