Broad legal orientation
“Prior to joining DNB, I was a lawyer at the Council of State for over fifteen years. The highest adjudicating body and final judicial decision maker, this was a very interesting place to work for someone with a broad legal orientation such as myself. In that position, I was able to develop my legal qualities and skills very well, but at a certain point I felt like I was ready to broaden my knowledge and experience. DNB, and more specifically the Penalties and Fines department, appealed to me because I had prior experience with enforcement on the one hand, and this team is also involved in primary decision making on the other. For me, this first link in the decision-making chain provided a 180-degrees change of perspective.
Assessing administrative penalties
I joined DNB in 2017 as a Senior Lawyer in the Penalties and Fines department. DNB supervisors may encounter all kinds of transgressions in their work, such as a financial institution that fails to deliver a legally mandated report in time or a natural person performing trust activities illegally, without the necessary permit. In order to police such transgressions and prevent them from happening in the future, DNB has various enforcement measures at its disposal: from informal measures such as conducting a conversation about a breached standard, to formal measures such as appointing a curator, issuing an instruction, ordering a cease and desist and imposing an administrative penalty. My team is involved, among other things, in processing internal reports in view of the latter two measures. We make an independent assessment of the legal feasibility and fit of imposing the measure, as well as how the measure should be detailed.
Developing in various aspects
My activities are varied. I perform coordinating tasks while being involved in particularly complex matters at the same time. I coach and supervise team members and participate in discussions with the Public Prosecutor. And then there is a large number of ad hoc activities, such as giving presentations within and outside DNB and answering questions from communications, e.g. on a published article in a financial paper about a legal ruling in a DNB penalty case. Another point of interest: I am currently providing technical assistance to the Central Bank of Aruba, regarding a specific policy subject. As an experienced lawyer, I enjoy more than enough legal challenges here, while developing in other areas simultaneously.
DNB lawyers operate at a high level.
Developing and implementing policy is another important and interesting part of my job. As an example, I was recently heavily involved in formulating our penalty quantification policy. As a supervisor, DNB can impose large penalties on financial institutions. Policy is required to avoid arbitrariness, promote consistent decision making and enable custom work. One of the things we did in the new policy, is establish a step-by-step plan for determining the sum of administrative penalties. Based on this plan, we take various circumstances into account, such as the severity and duration of the transgression and the degree of culpability, size and financial capacity of the transgressor. Policymaking is an exciting process: will the ideas you put to paper work out just as well in the real world?
Working at a high level
The lawyers at the Legal Affairs department operate at a high level and come from various backgrounds, such as litigation, business or (semi) public organisations. To me, this is a huge plus; there is always someone to spar with about a specific issue. Looking at my own team, I enjoy the fact that we are so well attuned to each other. We are a relatively small team, know what the other person is doing and cooperate with great intensity. Work distribution is mutually agreed upon; we try to divide fun and complex things as much as possible, while taking each other’s experience and working level into account. It is important that each team member is sufficiently challenged and is able to (continue to) develop themselves.
For me, a sufficient degree of challenge is the main reason why I will stick around and for now, that need is being met with flying colours. DNB is such a large organisation; who knows what else will come my way. Whatever it is, I am looking forward to it.”
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