Effective 1 January 2016 the decree requiring Dutch banks to report on their compliance with the old Banking Code in their annual reports will be repealed. As from that date, only the reporting requirements set out in the new Banking Code, which replaced the old one on 1 January 2015, will apply.
The reasons given by the Minister of Finance for the repeal are that (i) the Dutch Banking Association (Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken) did not request that the new Code be given a legislative basis, (ii) banks have already proceeded to implement the principles in the new Code on a sector-wide basis and (iii) the most important principles are already laid down in law and consequently the supervision of compliance with those principles – an important reason for giving the old Banking Code a legislative basis – already occurs. Furthermore, the banks have developed a system of disciplinary rules which provides a supplementary form of supervision and is helping restore confidence in the sector.
As from 1 January 2016, reporting by banks on their compliance with the new Code will be based on self-regulation. The main consequence of this change is that reporting on the bank's website will be sufficient. Reporting in annual reports will no longer be mandatory, although it will still be possible. Therefore, a bank's auditor will no longer have to check whether the bank's annual reports contain a statement about its compliance with the Code.
Transitional rules apply to financial years commencing before 1 January 2015. For those years banks are still required to report on their compliance with the old Code in their annual reports.