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De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) wants to safeguard a stable financial system. This requires sound financial institutions that operate with integrity. This is necessary to ensure a sustainable economy in the Netherlands. We warn against risks that could affect the system as a whole, and issue advice. We also improve the financial system's resilience by demanding that financial institutions reinforce their buffers.

Robust

The financial system is at the heart of the economy. It allows you to save, borrow and invest. It also ensures that you can pay safely and quickly, and that you can cover financial risks that you do not want to or are unable to bear. These things are often taken for granted, but they are essential to the functioning of the economy. That is why it is important that the financial system is robust and that it continues to function under less favourable economic circumstances.

Major risks related to the COVID-19 crisis 

De Nederlandsche Bank monitors the stability of the financial system. Every six months, we publish our Financial Stability Report (FSR), in which we identify the risks to the financial system. We published the most recent version on 13 October 2020 . The FSR includes a risk map showing the principal risks to financial stability in the Netherlands. At the moment these risks are largely related to the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Financial Stability Report - Autumn 2020

What are the risks for the financial sector at this moment?

It remains of the utmost importance to prevent the COVID-19 crisis from spreading to the financial sector. Because banks have built up sufficient buffers in recent years, they have been able to continue to provide loans to households and businesses. However, not all of these households and business may be able to repay these loans. We are seeing the first signs of a downturn in the commercial real estate market. Other risks arise from Brexit, persistently low interest rates and the growing non-bank sector.

In the most recent version of the Financial Stability Report we have elaborated on the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for lending. Check out the explanation of our expert Ralph Verhoeks.

The COVID-19 crisis also leads to an increase in cyber risks. Check out the explanation of our expert Melanie Lohuis.

What is a stable financial system?

A stable financial system continues to function during economic slowdowns, if banks or pension funds run into trouble, or if stock markets crash. In other words, it is a robust and resilient system that can absorb shocks and contribute to sustainable economic growth in the Netherlands. We cannot allow the financial system itself to become a source of disruption in the economy. A stable financial system also guarantees sufficient financial buffers.

(Hoe bevordert DNB de financiële stabiliteit?)

Financial Stability brochure

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How does DNB know if the financial system is stable?

We look at various areas to assess the stability of the financial system. To do this, we use a large number of indicators, such as an increasing amount of loans (credit growth), rapidly rising real estate prices and the amount of cash that banks are holding (liquidity). For example, strong credit growth associated with strongly rising real estate prices is often an indication of (future) instability.

Financial stability and cooperation

We chair the Financial Stability Committee, which meets at least twice a year. At international level we participate in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB). Our President Klaas Knot is the Vice-Chair of the FSB. Our participation in consultations in The Hague and Brussels is also important.