Strictly regulated

With effect from 1 July 2012, the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Act [Wet financiële markten BES; “Wfm BES”] came into force, with the associated subordinate regulations. The Wfm BES applies to financial institutions in the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba). There are several categories of financial institutions, including credit institutions (banks).

A “credit institution” (kredietinstelling) is a party engaged in the business of obtaining callable funds (opvorderbare gelden) from outside a restricted circle (besloten kring) and from parties other than professional market parties (professionele marktpartijen) and of the extension of loans (kredietuitzettingen) at such party’s (own) expense (Section 1:1 Wfm BES). In the explanatory note to the Dutch Act on financial supervision (used as the basis for the Wfm BES) it is mentioned that in the description of “credit institution” no reference is made to the “public”. If one nevertheless would like to use this word, “public” means anyone other than professional market parties or parties within a closed circle.

Conducting the business of a credit institution without a license granted by the Dutch Central Bank is prohibited. Enterprises (other than credit institutions that have been issued a license to conduct the business of a credit institution pursuant to the Wfm BES) are prohibited from using the words “bank”, “credit” or “savings”, as well as translations and forms of those words, in their name or in their operations unless the manner in which they are used makes clear that they are not active in the financial markets.

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

(13 November 2013)

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