Trust offices active in the Netherlands must be licensed by the Dutch national bank, DNB. In this respect, our nation is unique in Europe. The licensing requirement and other legal obligations governing our activities are set out in the Supervision of Trust Offices Act (Wet toezicht trustkantoren, WTT). This also ordains DNB’s responsibility for the authorization, regulation and control of Dutch trust offices.
Your Trust was granted its trust licence in 2011, the year in which the firm was first established. To qualify, our directors and policymakers underwent extensive DNB reliability and expertise checks. A register of the current licence holders can be found on the DNB website.
As well as the WTT, Dutch trust offices must also comply with various other laws and regulations. The most important of these are:
- The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act (Wet ter voorkomen van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme, WWFT);
- The Sanctions Act 1977 (Sanctiewet);
- The Regulation on Supervision pursuant to the Sanctions Act 1977 (Regeling toezicht Sanctiewet 1977)
CERTIFIED TRUSTWORTHY COMPANY
Trust offices act as gatekeepers of the integrity of the Dutch financial sector. Of the hundred or so such firms in the Netherlands are member of professional association Holland Quaestor which stands for the highest standards of quality and integrity.
KNOW YOUR CLIENT INFORMATION
One particularly important aspect of compliance with Dutch laws and regulations is that a trust office knows – and can demonstrate – who is the “ultimate beneficial owner” (UBO) of any organization it represents.
In law, a UBO is a natural person with a direct or indirect holding of more than 25 per cent of the capital or voting rights in a Dutch entity, or who exercises de-facto control over it. Before we can provide our services, we must therefore establish the following information about a prospective client.
- The reason for the chosen legal structure.
- The identity, background and integrity of the UBO(s).
- The source of the UBO(s)’ funds and where those passing through the Dutch entity come from and are going to.
In order to build this UBO profile, before accepting a client our account manager and compliance officer conduct a thorough background investigation. At the very minimum, acceptance is subject to observation of the following general standards.
- Initial contact with the prospective client has been in established in a regular manner, as a rule through their introduction by an existing client or a “feeder”.
- In principle, the management of Your Trust personally meets the UBO of a prospective client or managed company before providing it with any services or entering into a business relationship. If this is not possible, such a meeting takes place as soon as possible thereafter.
- In principle, we do not provide services to entities with (unregistered) bearer shares because the possibility of anonymous share transfer entails too great a risk of facilitating money laundering or terrorist financing.
- We do not provide services to any natural person or legal entity engaged in or demonstrably associated with activities in violation of the law or our CSR policy, or which we otherwise consider ethically unacceptable. These include, but are not limited to:
- the arms trade;
- the supply of materials for the production of weapons of mass destruction;
- human trafficking;
- child labour;
- the gambling industry;
- the trade in endangered species;
- political extremism;
- the pornography industry.