Financial core infrastructure

The term "financial core infrastructure" (FCI) was introduced in the context of national security and the protection of critical infrastructure. The financial sector is one of these critical infrastructures.

Vital infrastructure
Some processes are so vital to society in the Netherlands that failure or disruption would have serious social repercussions and put national security in jeopardy. They are as follows:

  • Point-of-sale (POS) payments
  • Mass non-cash payments
  • Large-value interbank transfers
  • Securities transactions

Due to the high values and large number of transactions involved, a complete or partial failure of these processes could have a major financial, economic and societal impact.

Financial core infrastructure
The FCI consists of financial institutions and market infrastructures that are essential to the operation of payment and securities systems in the Netherlands. The FCI institutions are responsible for the most important transaction flows and payments and securities settlement systems, and therefore for critical services. They are thus subject to stricter requirements than the smaller players are. FCI institutions must for example participate in joint exercises, comply with standards such as the Principles for Financial Markets Infrastructures, follow international guidelines intended to improve cyber resilience, and participate in the framework for security tests TIBER (threat intelligence-based ethical red teaming).

Do you want to know more?
The term FCI has recently been included in the new Dutch Data Processing and Cybersecurity Notification Obligation Act (Wet gegevensverwerking en meldplicht cybersecurity – Wgmc). You can find out more on the website of the National Cyber Security Centre. Do you want to gain an insight into the background of the FCI, and how it is set up? Then take a look at the factsheet on the ‘Financial core infrastructure (FCI)’