New terrorist attacks have shocked the world again over the past few months. The Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counter Terrorism (NCTV) has set the threat level at 4, which means that there is a realistic risk of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.
The financial sector plays a crucial role as gatekeeper in detecting and combating terrorist financing. We expect financial institutions to take this role seriously and to pro-actively take up their duty to perform customer due diligence, monitor transactions and train their staff. Practical evidence shows that analysing transactions delivers relevant indicators that enable detection of terrorist financing. Not only does this contribute to detection, it also has the effect of preventing future terrorist attacks and hence contributes to national security. Under the Sanctions Act, financial institutions have the duty to screen their customers and business relations against the national terrorism list. This is list is regularly updated, most recently in December 2016. By freezing the funds of the individuals and entities on this list, financial institutions can help prevent the preparation of terrorist attacks.
Integrity supervision focal point
Combating terrorist financing is and remains an important focal point of our integrity supervision. Our examinations have revealed that many supervised institutions still insufficiently control the risk of becoming involved in terrorist financing. See for example our thematic examination into transaction monitoring. That is why we will address combating of terrorist financing in two targeted cross-sectoral examinations in 2017. In a follow-up to our transaction monitoring examination, we will be conducting a targeted examination into how institutions monitor transactions on possible involvement in terrorist financing. In addition, we will conduct an examination into compliance with the Sanctions Act to establish whether institutions are performing the right checks.
We conduct several examinations in the context of combating terrorist financing. As a partner in the Financial Expertise Centre (FEC), we also actively take part in a project to combat terrorist financing.