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Second-tier senior officers – FAQs
Please read on for the most frequently asked questions.
Are non-managerial staff counted among this group?
No. The target group have to meet all three of the following criteria:
- They work for a bank or insurer incorporated in the Netherlands.
- They hold management positions just below the first tier of directors.
- They are responsible for individuals whose activities can materially affect the institution’s risk profile.
Which managers do not rank in this group?
Examples of managerial positions that are not included are: managers responsible for strategy, tax, reporting, operations, IT, property, products, client services, front office, marketing, sales, commercial departments, recovery, organisational change/transformation office, project management office, communications, innovation, sustainable development/sustainability, procurement office, facility services, directors’ office.
Please note: we typically find that institutions tend to put too many rather than too few managers on the list for screening. When assessing whether or not you have selected the right target group we use the criteria as presented on Open Book on Supervision and in the above list. We will not review any files you send of officers that are not in the target group. We will let you know accordingly.
Can an institution appoint a manager subject to the approval of DNB?
No. A manager will need to pass DNB’s integrity screening before they join the company. You may allow them to tag along but they may not make any managerial decisions. We expect the institution’s directors to see to it that a manager-in-waiting does not make any decisions.
Do temporary managers among the second-tier senior officers belong to the target group?
Yes. If outside managers are hired and temporarily join the group of second-tier senior officers, they will need to be screened for integrity by DNB before they start. Institutions themselves will be expected to screen these interim managers for suitability.
Some very small insurance companies have few staff, who may be holding multiple positions. Who needs to be screened for key functions in these cases?
Smaller institutions may not have a separate manager for specific key functions. In the absence of a layer of management because of the small size of the insurer, the manager responsible for the relevant function will typically be one of the actual directors of the insurance company. At these institutions, then, the new law does not lead to an increase in the number of people that need screening. It is up to the director to make sure that the right people are put in the right positions within their remit. When screening these directors, we pay extra attention to these aspects.
Will a manager from the group of second-tier senior officers be rescreened if they have been screened for integrity by DNB or the AFM before?
No. The integrity screening is a one-time process carried out the first time a nominee is put forward for a policy-making position that requires integrity screening. If a manager who has been screened in this way transfers internally to another position also within the target group, the institution may notify DNB in writing by way of a letter to The Expert Centre on Fit and Proper Testing. However, if this screened manager changes institutions and joins the second-tier senior officers at their new employer, we do expect to receive a completed integrity screening form for second-tier senior officers. We also expect the institution to investigate the manager’s integrity by consulting public sources and their own systems, and to complete the ‘Company integrity screening’ form. This should help both DNB and the institution establish that no new facts relevant to integrity have come up.
Should a fresh integrity screening be initiated for a manager in the target group if they have previously been approved as part of an institution’s pre-employment or in-employment screening?
We would like to see up-to-date investigations by the institution into anyone proposed for screening, with at least the following points covered:
- A completed integrity screening form for second-tier senior officers
- Own systems
- Databases and public sources
This does not imply that the institution should redo their own screening, which typically delves deeper than what we have described above. If this screening took place less than six months ago and if the above points were covered, this will count as an up-to-date integrity screening.
How should institutions handle integrity and suitability requirements when outsourcing activities?
We receive a lot of questions from small insurance companies that outsource one or more of their key functions. Whenever such key activities are outsourced, either wholly or partially, institutions retain full responsibility. The insurer will therefore need to determine who within the company bears ultimate responsibility for the execution of this particular key function and who therefore needs to meet the suitability and integrity requirements. More often than not, this will be one of the company’s directors.
Similarly, smaller banks may outsource some functions that are in the target group of second-tier senior officers. And here too, the general rule is that the bank retains full responsibility for all duties so outsourced.
We will not conduct any integrity screening of a third party to which you have outsourced these activities. It is up to you to select the right person for the job and to establish that they are suited to perform these duties as well as to ensure and guarantee their integrity. One way to do this is a contractual agreement with the institution’s suppliers stating that they are responsible for the suitability and integrity of the individuals performing the activities.
Can an institution use its own format to send the outcomes of its own integrity assessment to DNB?
No. You have to use DNB´s ‘Company integrity screening’ form. This lists the public sources you should consult and also leaves space for you to list any other public sources. This will provide us with more insight into the research you have done.
Would it be enough for the institution to produce a certificate of good conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag – VOG) as its own integrity screening?
No. A VOG checks whether the applicant has committed any criminal offences that are relevant to the position. We will check this ourselves. DNB expects you to investigate the manager’s integrity by reviewing the information sources listed under Second-tier senior officers: integrity screening. We will do what you yourself cannot, i.e. accessing data from selected registers.
Find out more? Go to information about:
- Integrity Screening Form (390KB PDF)
- Outcome of organisation’s own propriety assessment (159KB PDF)