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Banking System in the Netherlands

Banking System in the Netherlands

Updated on Friday 04th September 2015

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The most developed sector of the Dutch economy is the service field, with over 2/3 of GDP, which includes banking, insurance and transport. Four Dutch banks are rated in the top 60 world banks: ABN AMRO, ING and Fortis PABOBANK. They have developed a network of approximately 6,500 branches throughout the Netherlands and 500 in other 50 countries. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands operates more than 60 subsidiaries and branches of banks in Europe, Asia and America.


The banking system in the Netherlands starts in 1814 when the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) was founded. This is the first public bank offering low value non-convertible currency. Therefore, the Bank of Amsterdam is regarded as the first central bank and since 1999 is part of the European System of Central Banks.

DNB is an independent administrative body part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). The daily management is in the hands of management board. The DNB has a Supervisory Board by the Crown, which shall be appointed on the recommendation of the Joint Meeting of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board. However, the meetings and minutes of meetings of shareholders of DNB are secret.

In October 2004 DNB merged with the Bank of the Pension and Insurance Board (which in 2001 was named Insurance Board). The bank has been given a major role in monitoring these financial institutions, in addition to traditional banking supervision.

DNB approval is required for the establishment of a pension fund or insurance company. This is given only if the fund or life insurer has sufficient financial resources and is led by specialists.


The banking system in the Netherlands includes the following banking institutions: commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions and mortgage banks.

The most important banks in the Netherlands are ING Bank and ABN AMRO (consisting of Fortis, RBS and BSCH).

The banking system in the Netherlands also includes a bank specializing in providing specialized products and services for individuals integrated into the post office – POSTBANK. This bank institutions administers more than 7 million accounts.

Credit unions are organized as a network, called Rabobank, and the first position within this network is owned by Rabobank Nederland. The banking system in Netherlands comprises a relatively large number of credit institutions, in about 302 institutions, including Credit Europe Bank NV.


The banking system in the Netherlands is highly concentrated, being ranked in the top five banks accounting for a share of 86.8 % of total assets.

By measuring the efficiency of the banking sector using the ratio of administrative expenses and total assets of banks, the banking system in the Netherlands is considered effective, on the basis of the scoring achieved in the last years.

Another measure of the performance of the banking system in the Netherlands is the economic profitability (return on assets - ROA ), which is calculated as the ratio between net profit and aggregate assets of banks.


Do you need further information about the banking system in the Netherlands? Contact our Dutch accountants who can provide you customized assistance and details.



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