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Application success factors


All institutions applying for a licence as a bank will want the procedure to progress as quickly as possible and will want to be issued a licence. DNB does everything in its power to ensure a smooth and swift consideration process.

Published: 28 February 2017

You can positively influence the process yourself. This is how. We have looked at successful past applications to identify success factors. Obviously, complete and correct applications will be more successful.

These are the success factors for a smooth application for a licence.

Thorough preparation

It helps if you are aware of the work involved in making an application, and why and how we assess its components. We have put the following background information on our Open Book on Supervision website for your convenience.

Informal preliminary phase

We would advise you to go through the informal preliminary phase before submitting your formal application for a licence. During the informal preliminary phase, we will first discuss your intended activities and their feasibility, and we will then assess your draft application if you want. You will receive a detailed written response as to the completeness and quality standard of the submitted documents and a summary of any additional information that would still have to be added if you were to make a formal application.

The standard of your application

If you thoroughly substantiate your draft or formal application, demonstrating for each aspect how you satisfy the licence requirements, we will be able to assess all aspects of your application swiftly. High-quality information provides strong evidence in support of your application and enables us to complete the procedure in less time.

Consult an expert

Practice has shown that applications are often more complete and of a substantially higher quality if the applicant has sought expert advice, for example from a legal expert or auditor who specialises in the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht - Wft). We can assess complete and well-substantiated applications faster and more thoroughly.


The following points are often overlooked in applications for a licence, so we would advise you to check them before submitting your application.

  • Does your institution have sufficient capital at its disposal (own funds and solvency)?
  • Are financial statements available that we can verify?
  • Has an independent auditor issued an unqualified opinion on your financial statements?
  • Does your institution have a footprint in the Netherlands?
  • Are there any integrity issues or professional history antecedents involving proposed policymakers or co-policymakers that we need to know about? Applicants sometimes propose to appoint a board member on whom we, or another supervisory authority, previously issued a negative decision or who has come under criminal investigation. Be sure to check these points before submitting your application.

Information licence application for a bank

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