Dutch Bankers Hold Themselves Accountable With New Rules

Dutch bankers accused of breaking new rules of conduct, such as selling products clients don’t understand, will face disciplinary action starting next year, according to proposals presented today.

The Dutch Banking Association, or NVB, led by Chris Buijink, presented a social charter, a banking code and rules of conduct to regain trust in the industry after a slump triggered by the 2008 financial crisis. By the end of next year, all bank employees must have taken an oath, or a non-religious affirmation, declaring they agree with rules including putting customer interests first and working with integrity.

“Disciplinary rules will be defined to address complaints on non-compliance,” the Amsterdam-based NVB, representing most of the nation’s 80 lenders, said on its website. “With that, bank employees become accountable to society as a whole.”

The Dutch Securities Institute, an body founded in 1999, will become responsible for exercising the sanctions, Jelle Wijkstra, a spokesman for NVB, said by telephone.

Bankers will work with the DSI to promote expertise and integrity in the industry and in setting up the disciplinary system, NVB said. The institute currently settles investment disputes between firms or between private investors and the companies, and has a discipline and disputes commission, according to its website.

Dutch bankers who fail to abide by the new rules may be blacklisted, face fines or suspensions, Buijink, 60, said in an interview earlier this year.

Interested parties may comment on the proposals presented today until May. The rules will apply to people working at a bank with a Dutch banking license that is a member of the banking association, or a bank that chooses to apply the rules.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.