According to the Minister of Finance, the requirement to take a banker’s oath should not only apply to policy makers and members of supervisory bodies, but also to those who significantly influence or are able to significantly influence a financial undertaking’s risk profile.
The same applies to employees who are directly involved in providing financial services. These proposals form part of the draft Financial Markets Amendment Bill 2015.
The draft bill also extends the suitability and integrity test to employees of banks or insurance companies who are responsible for transactions that significantly affect or are capable of affecting the company’s risk profile.
In addition, the draft bill includes a number of other significant changes:
- The government contribution to the financial markets supervision budget will be abolished
- The general licence exemption for group financing companies has been reworded. One of the conditions for the exemption, the 95% test, has been reformulated in the draft bill: the exemption does not apply if 5% or more of the funds attracted by the group finance company is on-lent in a commercial capacity outside the group, even if this is not done by the GFC itself. The rules for the unconditional guarantee provided by the parent company have also been changed. The possibility of a keep well agreement has been removed.
- The rules for registration of covered bonds have been moved from delegated regulations to the Financial Markets Supervision Act itself. This allows the government to strengthen the supervision of covered bonds and to impose direct requirements on issuers of these bonds.
- A prohibition has been introduced against using company’s system-relevant status for advertising purposes.
- Managers of investment institutions that are subject to the lighter supervisory regime will be included in the AFM’s register. The lighter regime applies, in the first place, to managers of investment institutions whose total managed assets remain below a EUR 100 million threshold. The regime also applies to managers that manage only investment institutions that operate without leverage and do not allow redemption during a period of five years.
- Four legislative changes are proposed with regard to the accountancy profession. First, the draft bill clarifies the scope of the prohibition imposed on accountancy organisations against simultaneously carrying out statutory audits and providing other services. The second change concerns the exchange of supervision-related information between the AFM and the Dutch Central Bank, and between divisions of the AFM charged with different tasks. The third amendment introduces a regulation for the convergence of complaints submitted to the Accountants Chamber (Accountantskamer). And finally, the Accountants Chamber will be able to impose secrecy on parties if confidential information is exchanged during complaint proceedings.
- Certain civil cases relating to banking and securities law – that is, cases concerning the provision of investment services, the performance of investment activities and the offering of securities to the public – will be brought before one court, the Amsterdam District Court.
The 2015 Financial Markets Amendment Act takes effect on 1 January 2015.