In recent years, Dutch banks have strengthened their capital buffers. Four years ago, the largest Dutch banks were expected to need additional capital to meet the minimum standards set out in the Basel Accord.Read more
Combating money laundering and fraud
You need your bank, insurer and pension fund to be sound and reliable, and act in your best interests. If they become involved in scandals surrounding money laundering and fraud, this could damage your confidence in the financial sector. The sector is taking steps to combat this financial crime. However, this doesn't always go well. That is why the Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) keeps a close eye on their progress.
Financial institutions as gatekeepers
Financial institutions must act as gatekeepers. They must prevent criminal money flows from going through the financial system. We expect them to strengthen their gatekeeper function and apply the know-your-customer principle: this means they must not only get to know their new customers, but also monitor the transactions of existing customers. They must identify and report all unusual transactions as soon as possible. This reduces the risk of criminals taking advantage of your bank, for example, to launder money or finance terrorist activities.
Sound management and an open corporate culture
It is also important that financial institutions’ board members ensure sound and ethical management and that the institution's corporate culture is honest and open. After all, behaviour and culture have an impact on the results of the institution. This is why we assess board members for fitness and propriety and supervise behaviour and culture at financial institutions.
Examination and intervention
We examine the measures taken by institutions to combat financial crime. We also advise institutions on how best to do that. For example, we provide good practices documents on customer due diligence that allows them to better identify and control the risks. If institutions fail to do enough or act in non-compliance with the regulations, we can impose formal measures, such as a fine. If we think a criminal-law sanction is appropriate, we can report the institution to the Public Prosecutor's office.
European supervision of money laundering and fraud
The financial sector is taking action to combat money laundering and fraud. It is the responsibility of the national supervisory authority to supervise this. So we supervise the Dutch financial institutions, while the French supervisory authority supervises the French institutions, for example. However, crime does not care for national borders. We therefore promote more European cooperation and the establishment of a European supervisory authority.
Reporting suspicions of financial crime and fraud
Do you have suspicions of financial and economic crime and would you like to report this to DNB? You can do so through our Integrity Reporting Desk .
Frequently asked questions
The law stipulates that banks and other financial institutions must know who their customers are and understand what types of payment their customers make. This requirement applies to private customers, but also to businesses and other organisations. It is known as the know-your-customer (KYC) principle. It helps financial institutions prevent being misused for criminal purposes or for other acts that could undermine the confidence which customers have in them.
We check that banks and other financial institutions, such as payment service providers, meet the obligations which they have under the know-your-customer principle. This is part of our supervision of their compliance with the Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht – Wft) and the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme – Wwft).
It is up to your bank to explain why it is asking you for these data. It may need the information to meet obligations arising from the know-your-customer principle under the Wwft and the Wft, or it may need certain data, such as your citizen service number (BSN), to comply with tax laws. If you refuse to provide them, your bank may be unable to meet its legal obligations. It could decide to terminate its relationship with you as a result.
You must provide details of your identity to your bank, while the bank must verify their accuracy. The Government of the Netherlands website provides more information about identity documents valid in the Netherlands. Your bank may make or ask you to provide a copy of your identification document so that it can prove it complies with the know-your-customer principle.
It is up to your bank to explain why it needs this. It may be because the bank needs to keep your data up to date to ensure compliance with obligations arising from the know-your-customer principle.
The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) monitors compliance with privacy legislation in the Netherlands by businesses such as banks. The AP website (Dutch only) contains information on personal data that banks may request and on their handling of identification documents. If you have any further questions about Dutch privacy law, please contact the AP.
You can contact various banks to open an account. Our public register lists the banks that operate in the Netherlands. Alternatively, you can open a basic bank account. Information in Dutch is available on this website. Remember that all banks must adhere to the know-your-customer principle and can therefore ask you for personal data.
On 21 April 2020, the law was passed under which crypto service providers are subject to the integrity supervision of De Nederlandsche Bank. The new legislation is expected to enter into force on 18 May 2020. DNB calls on crypto service providers to apply for registration before that date...Read more