The Netherlands Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS) is a crucial aspect of the Dutch financial system, designed to protect the savings of account holders in the event of a bank failure. As a foreign account holder with a deposit in the Netherlands, understanding the principles of deposit insurance is essential to alleviate your concerns about losing your money. In this essay, we will discuss the background, key features, eligibility criteria, and payout process of the DGS to provide you with comprehensive information about this financial safety net.

The DGS is part of the broader European Union (EU) framework for deposit insurance, which aims to maintain public confidence in the banking sector and ensure financial stability. The scheme was established in accordance with the European Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGSD) and is implemented and supervised by the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB). The DGS covers both Dutch banks and branches of foreign banks operating in the Netherlands, ensuring that eligible deposits are protected up to a certain amount.

Key Features

Coverage: The DGS covers deposits up to €100,000 per person, per bank. This limit applies to the aggregate of all eligible accounts held by an individual at the same bank, including savings accounts, current accounts, and term deposits. It is essential to note that the €100,000 limit is separate for each bank, so if you hold deposits at multiple banks, each will have its own coverage.

Currency: The coverage limit of €100,000 applies to deposits in any currency. However, when calculating the aggregate amount of your deposits, the DNB will convert any foreign currency deposits into euros using the exchange rate applicable on the date of the bank’s failure.

Eligibility: The DGS covers deposits held by individuals, businesses, and other legal entities, including foreign account holders. Some exclusions apply, such as deposits held by financial institutions, public authorities, and deposits resulting from transactions related to money laundering or terrorist financing.

Premiums and funding: Banks participating in the DGS are required to pay regular premiums into a deposit guarantee fund managed by the DNB. The fund is used to compensate account holders in case a bank is unable to meet its obligations due to insolvency. The premiums paid by banks are determined based on their risk profile, ensuring that riskier banks contribute more to the fund.

Cooperation with other deposit guarantee schemes: For branches of foreign banks operating in the Netherlands, the DGS cooperates with other EU deposit guarantee schemes to ensure that the coverage and payout process aligns with the requirements of the DGSD.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for compensation under the DGS, the following conditions must be met: The account holder must have an eligible deposit at a bank participating in the DGS; The deposit must be denominated in euros or another currency; The account holder must not be excluded from coverage under the DGS (e.g., financial institutions, public authorities, etc.); and The bank must be declared unable to meet its obligations by the DNB or a court.

Payout Process

In case a bank fails and is unable to meet its obligations, the DNB will initiate the payout process under the DGS. The process involves the following steps:

Notification: The DNB will inform account holders about the bank’s failure and provide details about the compensation process.

Calculation: The DNB will calculate the total amount of compensation due to each eligible account holder, taking into account the €100,000 coverage limit and any set-offs or deductions (e.g., outstanding loans or debts) that may be applicable.

Verification: Account holders may be required to provide identification or other supporting documents to verify their eligibility for compensation. The DNB will review the submitted information and determine the final compensation amount.

Payout: The DNB aims to compensate eligible account holders within seven working days from the date the bank is declared unable to meet its obligations. In exceptional cases, this period may be extended up to 20 working days. The compensation will be paid in euros, either through a bank transfer or by issuing a check, depending on the account holder’s preference.

Appeals: If an account holder is dissatisfied with the DNB’s decision regarding their eligibility or compensation amount, they may file an appeal with the DNB within ten working days of receiving the decision. The DNB will review the appeal and issue a final decision within 20 working days.