Assessing individual and collective suitability of board members

Date 28 March 2013

Individual qualities are important, but so is fitting in with the rest of the team: this is one of the aspects DNB takes into account when assessing management and supervisory board members.


DNB’s suitability test considers whether a candidate is suitable for a position. The supervisory authority looks at individual qualities such as expertise and experience. It also decides whether the candidate’s profile complements that of existing board members. This is done using a suitability matrix. The matrix shows the collective knowledge and qualities of the supervisory or management board, including their strengths and weaknesses.

Completing the matrix
Every potential management or supervisory board member must complete a Prospective Appointment Notification Form. Banks must always apply for these from DNB. From now on, they must also complete a suitability matrix for the entire board each time they do so. When completing the form, it is best to adhere to the 2012 Policy Rule on Suitability.

Differences between banks
The matrix score achieved by each prospective supervisory or management board member will depend on the level of knowledge and expertise required for the bank concerned. This can differ from bank to bank, depending on the nature, size, complexity and risk profile of the organisation. In short, a board member could be highly suitable for bank A but not for bank B.

A prospective board member can appear to be an excellent candidate, based on his or her individual knowledge and experience. However, if the matrix shows that the board requires a different type of expertise, this may cause DNB to conclude that the candidate is not (immediately) suitable for the vacancy because he or she would not have sufficient added value for the board concerned. In such cases, DNB will discuss this with the bank. 

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