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The professional oath in daily practice

News item supervision

How does one bring the professional oath to life in daily practice? Representatives from the financial sector and the supervisory authorities tackled this question at the DNB seminar on the professional oath in late 2022.

Published: 03 April 2024

Twee personen schudden elkaar de hand.

A new brochure summarises the outcomes of this seminar. The professional oath or affirmation (further referred to as “the oath”) is a declaration by which the individual taking the oath commits to a set of moral and ethical principles when practicing their profession. The oath was created to strengthen trust in the financial sector.

DNB supervises compliance with the oath

Since 2015, the professional oath for financial institutions has been integrated in the Dutch Financial Supervision Act. In addition, employees at banks are also subject to a disciplinary regime linked to the principles in the oath. DNB has a statutory duty to monitor compliance with the oath at institutions under its supervision. In 2016, shortly after the introduction of the oath, DNB conducted a survey (refers to an external site) among a selection of banks and insurers. This showed that the institutions linked taking the oath to a meaningful ceremony. They also indicated they planned to integrate the oath into their own culture initiatives. Exactly what this would look like was not clear at the time of the survey.

DNB held a more comprehensive follow-up survey in 2021. Besides banks and insurers, DNB also surveyed payment institutions. Moreover, the questions were not only about taking the oath, but also about embedding the principles from the oath in operational management, dealing with disciplinary law, and what institutions do to ensure continued awareness of the principles. Following the results from this survey, DNB organised a seminar together with the sector, with the aim of exploring how to ensure the oath plays an effective role in the daily working lives of those who have taken it. 

Below you can find the brochure containing the valuable ideas that emerged from the seminar. And here you can read more about the comprehensive results of the 2021 survey (in Dutch).


How to bring the professional oath to life in daily practice

Download How to bring the professional oath to life in daily practice