Evaluation of Professional Competence Construction Financial Supervision Act

Client: Financial Services Expertise Board (CDFD) | Sectors: Economic growth

The Financial Services Expertise Board (CDFD) asked Ecorys to perform an analysis of the Financial Supervision Act. The evaluation provided insight into whether the current structure (which was introduced in 2014) meets the principles and objectives that were previously determined.

In recent years there has been lack of confidence in the Dutch financial sector. With the tightening of the care provisions in the Financial Supervision Act (Wft), a first step has been taken in recent years to regain that trust. Making demands on service providers in terms of professional competence has been of great importance in this regard. The professional competence structure was implemented on the first of January 2014. Experience has been gained over the past three years, but at the same time the developments in and around the financial professions continued after 2012.

All developments in and around the financial professions result in the question whether the nine professional qualifications (BKs) cover the financial market in such a way that a consumer can easily find and choose the adviser appropriate to his or her question. It is also important that consumers can be confident that they will receive appropriate advice. The research questions were: 

  1. What developments have occurred since 2014 that have an impact on the (structure of) the financial professions?
  2. Does this lead to changes in the financial professions? Is the content of the financial professions subject to change as a result of recent developments? Have certain professions disappeared or become more important / less important?
  3. What do the outcomes of research questions 1 and 2 mean for professional competence building? Should the structure and / or content be changed there? Is there more coherence between components?

Based on an extensive environmental analysis and a large number of interviews, Ecorys came to the following findings:

  • The structure does not have to be changed
  • The structure is satisfactory
  • The structure is too product-driven
  • Advisers in niche markets are overloaded
  • There is a trend that people become more informative advisors
  • Skills are not tested enough
  • Skills cannot be tested in the structure
  • The Financial Supervision Act building work is a minimum, advisors need more
  • There is an increasing demand for broad advice
  • The added value of advice lies with complex products
  • The responsibility for "execution only" must be properly invested

Based on this, recommendations for the short and long term have been formulated. The College has taken over a significant part of the Ecorys recommendations in its opinion of October 4th 2017.

The CDFD advises to keep the professional skills structure intact. The CDFD does, however, recommend a number of changes in legislation and regulations:

  1. The Basic module can no longer be interpreted as a "Basic consultant" professional qualification, but only as a "Basic module"
  2. Transfer to expiration benefits under the Pension module
  3. Expansion of the mortgage credit module with final and test terms for consumer credit
  4. Place credit insurance policies in the Wft Exemption Regulation

In response to this advice, the Minister of Finance reports in a letter to the Second Chamber that he intends to follow the advice of the CDFD.

Key Experts

Viek Verdult Senior Advisor Economic Governance