The Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven, CBb) ruled on appeal that the withdrawal of the licence of a trust office by the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) will remain in place (Rechtspraak, 2021). The District Court of Rotterdam previously came to the same conclusion.
DNB has withdrawn the licence because there are doubts about the reliability of the sole director. During a raid by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (Fiscale Inlichtingen – en Opsporingsdienst, FIOD), the director was arrested and the (client) administration was seized. The director is suspected of a number of criminal offences (incorrect tax returns, forgery, human smuggling, money laundering and fraud)
According to the CBb, DNB was allowed to use information from the Public Prosecution Service and the Tax Authorities in its reliability assessment. Because there is a serious suspicion, DNB did not have to wait for the judgment of the criminal court. Also, no final judgment of the judge on a tax assessment was necessary.
The CBb agrees with DNB that the trust office does not continue to comply with the obligations of the Trust Offices Supervision Act (Wet toezicht trustkantoren, Wtt), such as failure to take adequate risk measures. DNB was allowed to withdraw the licence immediately without first issuing an indication or taking any other measure. As it was no longer realistic that the trust office would still meet the requirements of the Wtt, a less severe measure than direct withdrawal was not accessible.
For more information on market access for trust offices, please visit the website of the Dutch Central Bank.
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