In July 2015, the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) launched a public consultation on updated guidelines for the prudential assessment of acquisitions of qualifying holdings (the Guidelines). The Guidelines define common procedures based on the assessment criteria laid down in the EU legislative framework (Directive 2007/44/EC) which was established for the prudential assessment of acquisitions by natural or legal persons of a qualifying holding in certain financial institutions.

On 7 October 2015, the Dutch Minister of Finance sent the Dutch response to the consultation on the Guidelines to the Dutch Parliament. Amongst other things, the Dutch response suggests to include extra criteria on financial stability and resolvability in the list of criteria on which competent authorities have to evaluate mergers and acquisitions. In short, the Dutch Ministry of Finance argues that the Capital Requirements Directive IV, as well as the introduction of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and Single Resolution Mechanism, will bring a single market for banking services in the European Union closer. Although this can be beneficial, consolidation can also lead to new potential too-big-to-fail problems. The Dutch Ministry of Finance believes this should be prevented as mergers and acquisitions typically make banks substantially larger, less substitutable, more complex and more interconnected with other parts of the financial system.

View the Dutch response to the consultation paper, 7 October 2015