Letter to House of Representatives on EU bank supervision

The Netherlands Court of Audit wrote to the Dutch House of Representatives on 9 February on the matter of the supervision of banks in the European Union. Responsibility for supervising ‘significant banks’ was transferred from the Dutch central bank to the European Central Bank (ECB) on 4 November 2014. There are seven ‘significant banks’ in the Netherlands, with a combined balance sheet total of approximately €2,480 billion.

Together with various other organisations including the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and the German Bundesrechnungshof, the Netherlands Court of Audit is planning an audit of bank supervision in the euro area. It came to light during the preparations for the audit that the ECA will is very unlikely to be given permanent access to ECB information on subjects that fall beyond the scope of routine examinations of the operational efficiency of the management of the ECB. If this is indeed the case, it will create an audit deficit in relation to the independent external scrutiny of the supervisory tasks conferred on the ECB.

The implication for the Netherlands is that the supervision of the country’s seven biggest banks can no longer be subjected to independent external scrutiny.