Saturday 16 January 2021

Dutch central bank concerned about its authority as a watchdog

Photo: Pbech via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Pbech via Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch central bank is unhappy about its own lack of authority in dealing with the financial sector, the Financieele Dagblad says on Thursday.

Regulatory chief Jan Sijbrand told a meeting that officials are ‘not satisfied’ with the bank’s role. ‘It is a gut feeling, not something we have quantified,’ Sijbrand said.

Too often the bank has to use ‘force’ to get a bank, insurance company or other financial service provider to change strategy, he said. ‘I would rather work on the basis of convincing arguments than using formal powers,’ he said. ‘That takes a lot of time and energy.’

Asked why he thought there was so much resistance, Sijbrand said there are two types of financial institution. ‘One is a mature organisation which will come up with strong arguments and then fall into line,’ he said. ‘Then you have the immature institutions which immediately turn to lawyers.’

The FD points out that insurance company Delta Lloyd had gone to court because it disagreed with the central bank’s policy.

Delta Lloyd was fined a record €23m last year for lowering its interest rate risk hedges in July 2012, just days before the central bank introduced a fixed interest rate for long-term liability calculations.

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