DNB to start investigations on compliance with sanction regulations

NL Law

On 30 March 2022, the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, "DNB") announced that it will start investigations to determine whether financial institutions take sufficient measures to comply with sanction regulations. 

DNB already assessed which financial institutions should potentially take measures following the new sanctions set in February 2022. DNB shall now investigate whether these institutions have sound business operations to adequately and timely freeze assets of sanctioned persons, stop providing services, goods or funds to such persons, directly or indirectly. Additionally, DNB shall assess whether institutions comply with the requirement to immediately notify DNB after a sanctions 'hit'. Financial institutions will be informed by DNB about the timeline of DNB's investigation.

If DNB considers that an institution did not comply with the applicable sanction regulations, or whether the business operations are not adequately in place to comply with the Dutch Sanctions Act 1977 and the rules promulgated thereunder, DNB can take enforcement measures and/or notify the Dutch Public Prosecution Service ("Openbaar Ministerie"). We refer to the newsletter of DNB of 4 March 2022 in which DNB explains what it expects from financial institutions after a sanctions 'hit'.

DNB’s announcement coincides with pressure from the Dutch Parliament on the government to make the adoption of sanctions and enforcement thereof a key priority.