Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the Banker’s Oath voluntary?

    No, it has been a legal requirement since 1 April 2015. As of that date, approximately 87,000 people employed in the financial sector have taken the oath.

  2. Who takes the oath?

    This responsibility has been given to employers by the legislator. They must arrange an oath-taking ceremony in the presence of at least one manager. Employees take the oath by swearing to abide by the established Code of Conduct. They also sign a declaration to confirm this.

  3. What is the role of the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement here?

    As the name suggests, the foundation is only involved in conducting enforcement of ethics standards. The Banker’s Oath and the associated Code of Conduct were proposed by the banking sector itself, and then formalised in consultation with the legislator.

  4. What exactly does the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement do?

    This independent foundation tests whether a certified individual has abided by the Code of Conduct associated with the Banker’s Oath.

  5. What is the role of DSI in the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement?

    DSI supports the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement by acting as prosecutor. If the Disciplinary Commission of the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement determines that the certified individual has indeed violated the Code of Conduct, then it imposes a punishment which is then implemented by the DSI.

  6. Can I claim damages or file for financial compensation via the FBEE?

    No. Damage claims and/or financial compensation aer not covered by the Code of Conduct. As such, our Prosecution Office cannot handle any damage claims and/or financial compensation. You can approach the Klachteninstituut Financiële Dienstverlening (KiFiD), a foundation that deals with complains against financial institutions based in The Netherlands. It can be reached via www.kifid.nl. Alternatively, you can approach a court.

  7. If the Disciplinary Commission decides that a person has indeed violated the Code of Conduct, will that person be put on a register?

    Yes. The name of the individual will be put on a private register by the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement. This register can be accessed by financial institutions. This makes it possible for companies to determine whether applicants have violated the Code of Conduct in the past. This register also lists the individuals who received a professional disqualification.

  8. Will I be kept informed about what happens to my report?

    Yes. When you make a report, you will always be issued a confirmation of receipt. Later on in the process, DSI will inform you whether your report is to be investigated.

  9. Where do the proceeds of the fine go?

    If the Ethics Committee or the Appeals Committee decides to issue a fine, the proceeds go to the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement’s general reserve.

  10. What kind of reports does DSI deal with?

    Reports can greatly vary in nature. For this reason, DSI does not disclose information regarding what kinds of reports it deals with and which it does not. This page shows a number of procedural issues that the report must comply with.

  11. Will the individual also be put on a register if the case was resolved by a settlement?

    Yes. In such cases the individual is also put on the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement’s register that can be consulted by financial institutions.

  12. What is the reporter's position?

    The reporter is not a litigant, but does have certain rights. The reporter is informed whether the complaint will be submitted to the Disciplinary Commission, and can appeal for a review by the Commission if the General Director decides that the report cannot clearly be put forward as a complaint. The reporter may also be interviewed by the Disciplinary Commission and he or she will be informed of the decision reached by the Commission and/or Appeals Commission.

  13. Is the certified individual granted access to all the information that the bank shares with the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement?

    All evidence that is used during the disciplinary proceedings will also be provided to the certified individual so that he or she can conduct his or her defence.

  14. Are all reports dealt with?

    DSI reviews each report against a number of questions and weighting factors. It is particularly important that it is possible to determine that the Code of Conduct associated with the Banker’s Oath has been violated.

  15. Are employers obliged to cooperate with requests for information related to disciplinary proceedings involving their employees?

    Yes.

  16. If the Disciplinary Commission stages a hearing, can I attend it, being the reporter?

    The reporter is not a litigant. For privacy reasons, the hearings are always closed to the public. However, it is possible that a reporter is called as a witness by the Disciplinary Commission.

  17. Are appeals possible?

    Yes. Both the prosecutor DSI and the certified individual may appeal against a decision.

  18. I do not have a name of a certified individual. How can I then make a report?

    Violation of the Banker’s Oath concerns an individual. It is therefore crucial that the report includes a sufficiently accurate indication of the identity details of the sworn individual. That is why the name of the certified individual is important. You may contact with the bank in order to find out the name of the sworn individual. If this does not achieve the desired result, you can always get in contact with us.

  19. Does the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement also enlist other organisations, for example the Autoriteit Financiële Markten or De Nederlandsche Bank?

    If it appears that a case involves the violation of laws and/or regulations that were imposed by the AFM/DNB, the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement can report this to the competent authority.

  20. If my report becomes a case, am I then a litigant?

    No. DSI takes over the case as prosecutor. However, you will be kept informed about the progress of the case.

  21. Is a case always brought before the Disciplinary Commission?

    Not necessarily. The defendant is always offered the possibility of paying settlement transaction (a fine) before the matter is brought before the Commission. If the defendant agrees, the settlement is paid and the case is closed. Appeal is then no longer possible. The defendant's name will be added to a registry that is open to employers in the financial sector. 

  22. Is the identity of the reporter revealed to the bank?

    No, under no circumstances is the identity of the reporter revealed.

  23. What kind of sanctions can the Disciplinary Commission of the Foundation for Banking Ethics Enforcement impose?

    This could be a reprimand, a fine of up to €25,000, a compulsory training course or temporary professional disqualification for three years.