On 27 March 2020, the Dutch Minister of Finance (the Minister) sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament containing answers to questions raised by members of the Dutch Parliament on potential liquidity issues in the financial sector as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The questions in the letter among other things relate to the short selling prohibition on certain shares that was introduced by the French regulator, the Autorité des Marches, on 17 March 2020, as well as similar measures recently taken by the Spanish, Italian and Belgian regulators. In response to the question whether such prohibition is being considered in the Netherlands, the Minister indicates that the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) does not yet see any reason to take such measures. The AFM, in collaboration with European regulators, closely monitors the situation on trading platforms operated in the Netherlands. According to the Minister, the AFM notes that the financial markets respond to economic developments, but that they are currently functioning properly. If the circumstances require this, the AFM and the European Securities and Markets Authority will be able to act quickly and take measures with regard to short selling.
Other questions which have been answered by the Minister relate to the measures taken by the European Central Bank and how the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank) monitors the liquidity of banks.