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Asset separation rules

Is your bank or another investment firm about to go bankrupt? Then there are rules about asset separation. These rules ensure that your investments and money are separated from the bankrupt's assets.

What is the role of the AFM?
We check whether investment firms observe the rules for asset separation. We also act if they fail to do so. We hold discussions with the bank or impose formal measures.

What rules does an organisation that invests have to comply with?
An organisation must put your money and investments in a bank account. That account has to be in your name. The bank administers the transactions on your account.

What rules does a bank that invests have to comply with?
A bank must:

  • ensure that you pay for investments at the moment you receive them, and vice-versa. We refer to this as the ‘delivery versus payment' principle.
  • protect your rights. You can read below how the bank protects your investments.
What investments are there?
There are two kinds of investments:

  • investments which are covered by the Securities (Bank Giro Transactions) Act [Wet giraal effectenverkeer] (Wge);
  • investments which are not covered by the Securities (Bank Giro Transactions) Act.
How does the bank protect your investments which are covered by the Wge?
If your bank is affiliated to the central custodian institution, Euroclear Nederland, you do not run any risks should the bank go bankrupt. This applies, for example, to shares and bonds in funds which are listed on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. If your bank is not affiliated to Euroclear Nederland, you will need a custodian company. You can read more about this in next paragraph.

How does the bank protect your investments which are not covered by the Wge?

The bank stores your investments at a custodian company. A custodian company stores securities. The chance of a securities company going bankrupt is extremely small. This is because a custodian company is not a commercial organisation. The custodian company has obligations towards you. If the custodian company does not fulfil those obligations, you can call the bank to account.