“We have thirty years of experience to learn from. Thirty years of crises and successes, of design flaws and great innovation, of opportunities for reform that we have missed, and opportunities for prosperity gains that we have seized.” This is what Klaas Knot said at the Maastricht Treaty.Read more
Risks for the financial system
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.
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.
Financial Stability Report
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 11 October 2021. The FSR includes a risk map showing the principal risks to financial stability in the Netherlands.
What are the risks for the financial stability at this moment?
In our most recent Financial Stability Report, we indicated that the economic crisis caused by the pandemic is now over. At the same time, various risks are continuing to build up. For instance, spurred on by low interest rates, financial markets have been on a search for yield for some time now. Investors are increasingly taking risks, driving up prices for risky investments. These can quickly come under pressure when inflation and interest rates rise. Risks are also increasing in the housing market. Buyers are taking more risks, by for example taking out a mortgage at the limit of what their income permits. In the latest Financial Stability Report, we also devote a lot of attention to climate risks.
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.
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.
Climate and energy transition risks
Insurers and pension funds
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