The Scheltema Commission has issued its report on the demise of DSB Bank. The report addresses the responsibility of a bank as a private law institution. The public responsibility of the government in terms of banking regulation and supervision has also been assessed. The report concludes that as a result of the dominant position of director and major shareholder Scheringa there were no checks and balances within DSB. Scheringa lacked banking expertise and focused only on the development of commercial activities by the bank. The supervisory board exercised inadequate supervision. The commission’s view is that the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) insufficiently recognised the defects in DSB’s structure when it issued a banking licence. DNB’s supervisory role should have been more proactive. The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) could have urged DNB more strongly to intervene in the governance of DSB.
The Minister of Finance has announced a number of legislative changes in response to the report. These are aimed at strengthening DNB’s governance and culture. The Minister proposes to broaden the task of the supervisory board and to adjust its size and composition. The Minister’s view is that the term of office of board members should not automatically be extended and an extension, if any, should occur only once.