Articles

Introduction of an oath and disciplinary regulations for all Dutch bank employees

Introduction of an oath and disciplinary regulations for all Dutch bank employees

Introduction of an oath and disciplinary regulations for all Dutch bank employees

30.04.2015 NL law

At the initiative of the Dutch Banking Association (Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken), the Dutch Financial Markets Amendment Act 2015 (Wijzigingswet financiële markten 2015) introduced an oath for employees in the Dutch financial sector, effective as of 1 April 2015. The oath is applicable to employees of financial undertakings such as banks, insurance companies, investment firms and intermediaries. 

Disciplinary regulations introduced together with the oath only apply to bank employees. With the introduction of disciplinary regulations, the Dutch banking sector aims to contribute to safeguarding and enhancing the quality of the banking sector.

Effective 1 April 2015, section 3:17b of the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht, the "Wft") requires that banks with a registered office in the Netherlands ensure that their employees take the bankers oath, which comprises several integrity related statements. Section 3:17c Wft requires banks to implement a code of conduct, corresponding to the general code of conduct for bankers, that must be complied with by the bank's employees. Sections 3:8 and 3:17b Wft specify which employees are required to take the oath. In short, it concerns individuals who: (i) determine the day-to-day policy of the bank, (ii) substantially influence the risk profile of the bank, (iii) are directly involved in providing financial services and (iv) are supervisory board members (if applicable). In the event that an employee who has taken the oath violates the code of conduct, such individual can be disciplined through disciplinary regulations. These regulations have a statutory basis, but are enforced by the sector itself. Almost 90,000 bank employees in the Netherlands are expected to take the bankers' oath.

Any person (e.g. consumers, regulators, employers) can report a complaint about an employee who has allegedly violated the oath and the code of conduct to the Disciplinary Regulations for Banks Board (Stichting Tuchtrecht Banken, the "Disciplinary Board"). Only complaints regarding personal conduct of bank employees (occurring after 1 April 2015) can be reported to the Disciplinary Board. Complaints regarding the conduct of a bank, can be addressed to the Financial Services Complaints Institute or to a civil court.

The Disciplinary Board is responsible for executing the disciplinary regulations and the associated code of conduct. This has been outsourced to the Dutch Securities Institute ("DSI"), a self-regulated body created by the financial services industry. If the DSI is of the opinion that the employee violated the code of conduct, the complaint will be presented to an independent Disciplinary Committee (Tuchtcommissie). After a hearing, during which the employee has to account for his conduct, the Disciplinary Committee may, in accordance with the disciplinary regulations, impose sanctions on the employee (e.g. formal warning, temporary suspension of duties, a fine or taking mandatory courses). The sanctions imposed on the employee will be temporarily recorded in a register that can only be accessed by banks (Tuchtrechtelijk Register). The employee or the prosecutor (managing director of the DSI) can appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee to the Appeal Committee (Commissie van Beroep).

 

Related news

31.03.2020 BE law
Will the COVID-19 pandemic have an impact on financial covenants?

Short Reads - In the Benelux and wider European market, many leveraged credit agreements still include certain financial covenants (including leverage covenants, interest and cashflow covers, etc.). All of these covenants rely (directly or indirectly) on the operational performance of a company (EBITDA). As it is expected that the coronavirus outbreak will negatively affect the operations of companies in a wide variety of sectors, any consequent breaches of financial covenants are likely inevitable.

Read more

21.02.2020 NL law
Podcast: Data en financiële instellingen

Short Reads - In deze podcast praten Roderik Vrolijk en Frederiek Fernhout van Stibbe in Amsterdam en Joran Iedema van Stibbe StartsUP-deelnemer Dyme over Fintech, PSD2 en het gebruik van data door financiële instellingen. Aan de ene kant biedt nieuwe regelgeving zoals PSD2 nieuwe mogelijkheden, aan de andere kant neemt de regeldruk en het toezicht op bescherming van persoonsgegevens toe.

Read more

18.03.2020 EU law
Stibbe: COVID-19

Short Reads - In view of the developments concerning the coronavirus, we hereby inform you of our business operations and the measures we take to ensure the continuity of our services to you.

Read more

This website uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential for the technical functioning of our website and you cannot disable these cookies if you want to read our website. We also use functional cookies to ensure the website functions properly and analytical cookies to personalise content and to analyse our traffic. You can either accept or refuse these functional and analytical cookies.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring