On 10 November 2021, the Dutch Minister of Finance sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament on the plans with regard to independent research into the future of the Dutch trust office sector.

The Dutch Minister of Finance will by way of a tender process select an external party to carry out the research. The main question that will be central to research is whether integrity can be sufficiently guaranteed in relation to the provision of trust services in the Netherlands. This question will be examined in a broader context, including the financial, economic and social added value of the sector for the Netherlands. The Dutch Minister of Finance also refers to the recent developments around the Pandora Papers and notes that the research should also provide insights which are relevant for following up on possible lessons learned from the Pandora Papers.

In order to be able to answer the main question, the party carrying out the research will be asked to at least answer the following questions:

  1. What is the nature and size of the Dutch trust office sector?
  2. What are the inherent integrity risks of the provision of trust services in the Netherlands and can these be adequately managed?
  3. What is the added value of the Dutch trust office sector?
  4. What will the Dutch trust office sector look like in the near future?
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of introducing (new) rules in comparison with the complete or partial ban on the provision of trust services, all with a view to preventing money laundering?

The tender process has started and in case of a successful tender it is expected that the research will begin at the end of November. The results should be available before the summer of 2022.