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Protocol of De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. and the Netherlands Competition Authority on concentrations in the financial sector in crisis situations


Published: 06 July 2023

If a financial institution suddenly threatens to fail, forging a concentration of financial enterprises in the financial sector may be a solution. In such a case, the DNB/NMa Protocol on concentrations in the financial sector in crisis situations sets out the specific agreements between DNB and the NMa.

In crisis situations, supervisory authorities can deploy various instruments such as emergency regulations and relief schemes for transferring a failing institution's portfolio. The protocol also applies to these situations. Forging a concentration can also be a means to resolve the crisis and avoid the instruments mentioned above from having to be deployed. Within the context of the protocol, DNB's aim is to prevent the institution's failure and having to apply emergency regulations. The NMa's aim is to prevent the creation or strengthening of economic power concentrations that could significantly hamper competition in the Dutch markets.

The protocol was signed in December 2010 and published in the Government Gazette (2011, no.84). It became effective on 4 January 2011, with the previous protocol between DNB, the former Pensions and Insurance Supervisory Authority of the Netherlands (Pensioen- & Verzekeringskamer – PVK) and the NMa of 10 December 1999 lapsing at the same time (Government Gazette 2000, no. 13).

The 2011 protocol was a revision of the 1999 protocol, which had to be updated following significant changes to financial supervision and competition legislation. The protocol parties also felt the need to clarify or tighten parts of the 1999 agreements. The 2011 protocol was explicitly extended to include the pension sector, since this sector can also be subject to crisis situations involving competition.

In 2017, the protocol was revised again, see here for more information (Dutch only).