On 21 July 2015, the Act on the Supervision Credit Unions (Wet toezicht kredietunies, the Act) was published which creates a regulatory framework for credit unions. The Act introduces a licence obligation for a cooperation (coöperatie) that attracts repayable funds (opvorderbare gelden) from its members and, for its own account, extends loans to its (other) members for the trading and/or business purposes of such members.

Credit unions have been gaining importance as an alternative source of financing in the Netherlands, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Previously, credit unions were required to obtain a banking licence, which meant that they had to meet the same requirements as banks even though their activities are generally limited when compared to the activities of banks. By introducing a separate, lighter regime for credit unions, it is expected that more sources of financing will be available to market parties, in particular to SMEs.

View the Act, 21 July 2015 (in Dutch).