Resolution Division policy officer
“An international environment, interesting work content, attention to personal development and social impact. Those were my priorities when I started looking for a new job a few years ago. That is when I spoke to a former classmate who was working at DNB and it wasn’t long before I joined the Resolution division myself.
In 2015, DNB founded the National Resolution Authority, with the aim of protecting the social role of banks. When a hospital went bankrupt a few years ago, patients suddenly found themselves without healthcare. Imagine the same situation with a bank. Several critical functions would have to be safeguarded: customers still need a checking account and their savings must be guaranteed. For that reason, the resolution framework was introduced. And then there is the Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS), which guarantees that customers of a bankrupt bank get their money back within ten business days, up to the amount of €100,000.
From bail-out to bail-in
As a result of the financial crisis, banks such as ABN Amro and SNS got in trouble and had to be bailed out with government money. This is something we want to prevent in the future. Today, Resolution first looks at the position of the bank involved: does this bank play an important role in the Netherlands’ financial stability? Does the bank fulfil important critical functions for society? If so, we prepare for resolution in case that bank gets into trouble. We determine what instruments we would want to deploy, e.g. selling (part of) the bank or a bail-in, where the bank is rescued from the inside out using the assets of shareholders and bond holders.
From Resolution to outplacement at European Banking Authority to communication: that’s how versatile this work really is.”
The European Union is working on harmonising legislation on resolution and deposit guarantee. But each country has its own history, technical infrastructure and financial system. In Germany, for example, you won’t get very far without cash in your pocket. Meetings are conducted at the European level on a regular basis and I am a Dutch representative in our discussions with colleagues from Italy, Germany or Spain. During an outplacement assignment at the European Banking Authority (EBA) in Paris, I was involved in assessing the European DGS guideline, and in an assessment of exercises that DGS authorities execute throughout Europe in order to test if they are ready for a crisis situation.
On the one hand, you are there to add your Dutch experience and perspective to the table, but on the other hand you do need to reach consensus between 27 countries. It is important to have some degree of political sensitivity. And on a personal level, it was a very educational time. I was truly on my own, in a new country with a different culture, during a pandemic to boot. Luckily, I found out that I can hold my own even in an odd situation like that.
Informing the public
Upon my return to DNB, I was put in charge of the communication cluster of our division. Together with around eight colleagues, we are responsible for communications on resolution and deposit guarantee. We began informing the public by launching the depositogarantie.nl website and ensured that Dutch citizens learn more about the security of their savings, which helps avoid runs on the bank. In addition, we developed a toolkit for Dutch banks, allowing them to inform their own customers directly.
I am currently taking a communications course for this new role, because as a business economist, this is a completely new field. And that is exactly what I like about my job; there are so many intersections with other disciplines that new opportunities arise all the time. I don’t see myself getting bored working at DNB any time soon.”
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