Legal Blog

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Financial supervision in the BES islands

New legislation entered into force in 2012

The Netherlands Antilles dissolved on October 10, 2010. Prior to that date, the Netherlands Antilles consisted of Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba, and formed, together with the Netherlands and Aruba, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Curaçao and St. Maarten have become independent countries within the Kingdom. They stand on equal footing with the Netherlands and with Aruba, each country with its own set of laws. Civil, corporate tax and banking laws of Curaçao and St. Maarten are substantially the same as Netherlands Antilles law before the dissolution. 

Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (together the “BES islands”), have, as public entities, become part of the Netherlands. The Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank) and the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten) have replaced the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten as financial supervisory authority on the BES islands.

Initially, the supervisory legislation of the BES islands consisted of converted Ordinances and regulations of the Netherlands Antilles. The content remained largely unchanged in the conversion. With effect from 1 July 2012, the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Act [Wet financiële markten BES] came into force, with the associated subordinate regulations.

These laws and regulations mean a major change in the regulations that apply to financial institutions in the BES islands. Where possible, these regulations have been harmonized with the regulations of the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten. However, there are many additions and changes. In this context, special attention must be paid to the rules of conduct for dealing with consumers, such as information provision, duty of care, regulations on lending, and the handling of complaints.

Filed under: Finance by Karel Frielink.



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